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White House: Syria must step up efforts to get chemical weapons to port

Syria must intensify its efforts to offload chemical weapons, the White House said Thursday, after a report that less than five percent of its arsenal had been delivered and that work to destroy the weapons has 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 told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One.

A Danish ship set sail from Latakia on Jan. 7 with the first batch of chemical weapons— a crucial milestone in the international operation to rid the Syrian regime of its arsenal by midyear. But since that date, the progress of weapons to the port has been slow.