OPCW: Eight percent of Syrian chemical weapon stockpile remaining for removal
The UN-OPCW mission visited Syria's chemical weapon facilities in late 2013 (File Archive/AFP)
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Syria still possesses nearly eight percent of its chemical weapons stockpile as Damascus' own self-imposed deadline for the arsenal's removal expired Sunday, according to Agence France Presse.
"We are talking of the remaining 7.8 percent chemical weapons material that is currently still in country in one particular site," confirmed Sigrid Kaag, who is heading the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-U.N. task team that is overseeing the arsenal's removal, told a news conference.
Despite the deadline expiration, Kaag has described working with Damascus as "very constructive cooperation."
Syria agreed to remove its chemical weapon stockpile in Fall 2013 under a U.S.-Russian deal after Washington threatened to launch an air strike on the country following confirmation of chemical weapon attacks in the country in late August 2013.
Damascus had previously pledged to have all of its arsenal removed by Sunday, April 27, ahead of the official deadline that is set for June 30 by the OPCW-UN mission. The regime, however, has previously missed deadlines for its chemical stockpile removal, saying that the security situation in the country has delayed progress.
Damascus previously declared that it has around 12,000 tons of chemical weapons.