Watchdog: 49 percent of Syrian chemicals removed

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Associated Press

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 27 at 12:33 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The world's chemical weapons watchdog says more than 49 percent of the raw materials for Syria's poison gas and nerve agent program scheduled for destruction have been shipped overseas, with the rest expected to leave by the end of April.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a report to the United Nations, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, that the total percentage of chemicals either removed or already destroyed inside Syria is 53.6 percent.

The report said Syria pledges to remove all chemicals by April 13, except for those in areas "that are presently inaccessible," which face an April 27 deadline.

The international community, shocked by a chemical attack in August that killed hundreds near Damascus, aims to remove and destroy 1,300 metric tons of chemicals by June 30.

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