Watchdog: 45 percent of Syrian chemicals removed

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Associated Press

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 19 at 1:35 PM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The world's chemical weapons watchdog says more than 45 percent of the raw materials for Syria's poison gas and nerve agent program slated for destruction outside the country have been shipped out.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced Wednesday that two shipments were loaded onto cargo ships in recent days at Latakia port.

Syria has missed several deadlines on a timetable agreed last year to eradicate its chemical weapons by June 30, but insists it will meet the final deadline. It recently pledged to remove all chemicals by the end of April.

The chemicals will eventually be transferred to a U.S. ship, the MV Cape Ray, which has been fitted with equipment to neutralize hundreds of tons of the most toxic chemicals under supervision by OPCW experts.

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