Syria

OPCW Urges Assad Regime To Speed Up Handover of Chemicals

First chemicals were loaded onto a Danish ship on Tuesday

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(Reuters)—The world's chemical weapons watchdog, which is overseeing the destruction of Syria's toxic arsenal, called on the government of President Bashar al-Assad to pick up momentum in handing over the remaining chemicals.

Syria missed a deadline to transport the most toxic substances out of the country by December 31, loading a first batch of chemicals onto a Danish cargo vessel on Tuesday, a week late.

The Syrian government has until the end of March to hand over the so-called first priority chemicals, including around 20 tonnes (1 tonne= 1.102 metric tons) of lethal mustard gas, and to the end of June to completely eliminate its chemical weapons program.