Syrian chemical weapons deadline passes with 92 percent of materials removed

As the April 27 deadline for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons arrived Sunday, the OPCW-UN Joint Mission announced that Syria had successfully destroyed or removed more than 92% of the material.
By JC Finley   |   April 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM   |   Comments

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, April 28 (UPI) -- The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and United Nations Joint Mission announced the status of Syrian chemical weapons destruction, as the deadline arrived Sunday.

As of the April 27 deadline, "The Syrian Arab Republic has now removed from its territory or destroyed in-country more than 92% of its declared stockpile of chemical weapons material."

Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Damascus, said that while "This is a significant achievement ... nearly 8% of Syria's declared weapons material remains on its territory."

Kaag expressed optimism that the Syrian government, "having come this close to meeting the target date for the removal of chemical weapons material ... will take the final step very soon."

Syria should strive to complete the removal "in the shortest possible timeframe," the OPCW-UN Joint Mission special coordinator said, while acknowledging the difficult security conditions.

"Should this material be removed soon, the Syrian Arab Republic will have successfully carried out a major obligation that is a focus of much international attention."

UN Security Council Resolution 2118 for the "Scheduled Destruction of Syria's Chemical Weapons" was adopted on September 27, 2013.

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