DAMASCUS, March 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 53 percent of Syria's chemical weapons has been removed or destroyed as of Thursday, a lest UN statement said.
The statement said the joint mission welcomes the momentum attained and "encourages Syria to sustain the current pace."
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution in September last year to rid war-torn Syria of its chemical weapons. Under the resolution, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was mandated to oversee the elimination of Syria's chemical materials.
The UN-OPCW Joint Mission has been btasked to timely remove Syria's chemical arsenals in the safest and most secure manner possible.
Western powers have recently accused Damascus of not living up to its pledges to quickly remove its chemical weapons.
The Syrian government accused West-backed rebels of hindering the transportation of chemical weapons by attacking bases where the materials are stored.