Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the U.N., holds a news conference at the U.N. headquarters on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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The head of the mission charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons said Thursday the last 16 containers of dangerous chemical agents that need to be transported out of the country are in a contested area not far from Damascus that is currently inaccessible.Kaag spoke to reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council and said in an interview later with The Associated Press that the 16 containers -- representing 8 percent of Syria's declared stockpile -- contain material to produce the deadly nerve agent sarin as well as other dangerous chemical agents.She said it would take "less than a working week" to pack the most dangerous chemicals into five containers and the less toxic chemicals into 11 containers, put them on a convoy, and get them to Latakia.Kaag said two other sites in the vicinity of the air base where chemical agents had been stored have been taken over by armed opposition groups. There are no chemicals at the two sites now, she said.Kaag said the joint mission is working with Syria on "discrepancies" in its declaration, and she said negotiations are taking place between Syria and the OPCW, assisted by the United States and Russia, on destruction of the 12 facilities.
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