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June 28, 2017

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Syria still holds 8 percent of chemical weapons material

DAMASCUS--Syria still holds around 8 percent of its chemical weapons material, missing a deadline to remove or destroy it all, the mission overseeing the destruction of its arsenal said Sunday.

Despite the slip, the head of the mission, Sigrid Kaag, said she was still hopeful a June 30 deadline for the complete destruction of Syria's chemical arms would be met.

Syria's parliament meanwhile announced four new candidates have submitted applications to run in presidential elections scheduled for June 3.

And Iraq's interior ministry said Iraqi army helicopters attacked a jihadist convoy in eastern Syria as it tried to approach the border, killing at least eight people.

Speaking in Damascus, Kaag said 7.5-8.0 percent of Syria's declared chemical weapons material remained in-country, at "one particular site."

"However, 92.5 percent of chemical weapons material removed or destroyed is signficant progress," she said.

"We also however need to ... ensure the remaining 7.5-8.0 percent of the chemical weapons material is also removed and destroyed."

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