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Joint Mission Says 80 Percent Of Syrian Chemical Weapons Eliminated

A UN chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus last August.
International supervisors say approximately 80 percent of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons materials have been removed from the country or destroyed.

The Joint Mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement that the progress will contribute to meeting the end of June deadline to dismantle the government's chemical weapons program.

Earlier this year, amid fighting between the government and rebels, Syria missed several deadlines for shipping some of its chemical weapons materials out of the country.

After hundreds of people died in a chemical weapons attack near Damascus last August, the Syrian regime, under threat of U.S. air strikes, agreed to dismantle its chemical arms programs.

Under a deal negotiated by Russia, an ally of the government, and the United States, which supports Syrian rebels, Damascus is supposed to surrender all of its chemical weapons materials for destruction by June 30.

The rebels and the government have accused each other of using chemical weapons during the conflict.
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