Syria has given up 'less than 5% of chemical weapons'

The Syrian regime has given up less than five per cent of its chemical weapons and is set to miss next week's deadline to send all toxic arms abroad for destruction, Reuters reports.

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Assad regime 'must meet chemical weapons obligation'

The US said it is President Bashar al-Assad's responsibility to comply with the deal. Credit: Reuters

President Assad's regime must meet their obligation to transport chemical weapons ahead of their destruction, the White House has said.

A report claimed the Syrian regime had given up less than 5 per cent of the weapons, while the US has expressed concern that efforts had fallen behind schedule.

"It is the Assad regime's responsibility to transport those chemicals to facilitate removal. We expect them to meet their obligation to do so," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

US 'concerned' over Syria chemical weapons delay

The White House has called on Syria to intensify their efforts to remove chemical weapons from the country so they can be destroyed.

U.S. Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel. Credit: Reuters

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US is "concerned" that Syria is behind in removing chemical weapons material that are due to be destroyed under an international agreement.

Hagel said he had asked Russian officials to urge the Syrian regime to comply with the deal.

Despite the delay, Hagel believes the removal effort could get back on track.

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Failure to eliminate toxic arms could lead to sanctions

Syria's failure to eliminate its stockpile of chemical weapons could lead to sanctions on the country, although these would need the backing of Russia and China who have so far refused to back measures against President Bashar al-Assad.

UN chemical weapons experts prepare to collect samples during a trip to Syria. Credit: Reuters

The Syrian regime agreed to relinquish its toxic arms in a bid to stop the United States and allies from launching bombing raids on the country.

The reports that Syria has given up under five per cent of its stockpile will be discussed at a meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' executive council today, a senior US State Department official told Reuters.

The meeting will focus on the lack of progress and is set to confirm that only 4.1 per cent of the country's chemical arms has been removed, the official added.

Syria has given up 'less than 5% of chemical arms'

The Syrian regime has given up less than five per cent of its chemical weapons and is set to miss next week's deadline to send all toxic arms abroad for destruction, Reuters reports.

A UN toxic arms expert inspects one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Abdullah

Only 4.1 per cent of the approximate 1,300 tonnes of chemical arms were reported by Damascus to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), sources familiar with the matter told the news agency.

One source said: "It's not enough and there is no sign of more."

The internationally backed operation, which is overseen by a joint United Nations and OPCW mission, is now six to eight weeks behind schedule.

Damascus must show that it is still serious about giving up its stockpile of chemical weapons, the sources also told the news agency.

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