OPCW: Nearly half of Syria's chemical weapons removed
A chemical weapons attack devastated Damascus in April of last year. (AFP/File)
Syria has removed almost half of its chemical weapons stockpile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says.
The OPCW said in a statement on Wednesday that the amount included the country’s entire stock of lethal mustard gas.
In the past week, two shipments were transferred from the northwestern port of Latakia to Norwegian and Danish vessels for destruction outside Syria, OPCW added.
So far, Syria has scrapped 45.6 percent of its Category 1 and Category 2 chemicals and remains committed to the destruction of its entire arsenal by June 30.
Once all the chemicals are delivered, they will be taken to a US vessel called the MV Cape Ray and will be broken down at sea using hydrolysis, a process which is expected to take 90 days.
On September 14, 2013, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal under which Syria would have its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return not carry out planned strikes on the Arab country.
The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of the capital Damascus on August 21, 2013.
Damascus vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Some sources say around 130,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.
- OPCW: Eight percent of Syrian chemical weapon stockpile remaining for removal
- Roughly 80% of Syria's chemical weapons have been destroyed or removed
- OPCW: 86.5 percent of chemical weapons removed from Syria
- Preparations begin in Cyprus to remove first part of Syria's chemical weapon stockpile
- Call to remove Arab monitors as Assad expected to deliver speech