OPCW: 86.5 percent of chemical weapons removed from Syria
A U.N. inspection team was sent to Syria following last August's chemical weapons attack (File Archive/AFP)
Agence France Presse reported Tuesday that Syria has handed over 86.5 percent of its chemical weapon stockpile according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who is responsible for the oversight of the weapons removal.
OPCW released its statement Tuesday saying that a delivery of chemical weapons to the Syrian port of Latakia earlier this week has raised "the overall portion of chemicals removed from Syria to 86.5 percent of the total."
"[Tuesday's] consignment was the 17th to date and the sixth consignment since April 4, making a significant acceleration in the pace of deliveries to Latakia this month," the statement added.
OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu has described the progress as "encouraging" and hopes that the remaining weapons will be delivered for removal in Latakia in time to meet the mid-year deadline for destroying Syria's chemical weapons.
Under the stipulations in the U.S.-Russia deal from late last year, Syria has until the end of June to destroy its chemical weapons.
Damascus, however, has "self-imposed" an earlier deadline of April 27 to have all of its chemical weapons removed from Syrian soil.