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Kerry Praises US-Russian Cooperation on Chemical Weapons Removal From Syria

© AP Photo / Evan VucciUS Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry - Sputnik International
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In September 2013, Russia and the United States struck a deal to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal, after a sarin gas strike killed several hundred people near Damascus. The plan was later approved by the UN Security Council.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States looks forward to continuing its security cooperation with Russia after joint successful efforts on Syria's chemical disarmament, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

"We led the effort together with Russia. [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov and I sat down in Geneva and we cut a deal that enabled to get all the chemical weapons out of Syria in the middle of the conflict," Kerry said speaking before US ambassadors.

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Kerry explained that if the deal had not been reached, the weapon could have fallen into the hands of Islamic State militants operating in the country.

In February, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that it had completed the destruction of an underground structure in Syria that hosted a chemical weapons production facility. There are 11 further facilities scheduled for destruction, the organization stated. The OPCW declared that 98 percent of chemical weapons had been destroyed.

Syria has been facing an internal armed conflict since March 2011. The Syrian army has been fighting against several opposition and rebel groups, including Islamic State extremists and Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra).

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