An official from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said that bad weather and a complex multinational procurement effort for equipment have delayed the operation of removing Syrian chemical weapons.
The Special Coordinator of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission" Sigrid Kaag" told Reuters in Damascus on Monday that the OPCW is "comfortable in the knowledge that all the work is about to be completed" but she didn't say how long the delay will last.
Kaag said on Sunday the deadline will not be met, citing technical delays, and she said on Monday there had been delays at customs without elaborating further.
Kaag said the Syrian government has repeatedly voiced a number of security concerns, adding that Damascus "needs to plan for any eventuality in the journey from different sites to Latakia and in Latakia itself".
Despite the delay, Kaag said "progress is very strong" and there is "a clear determination by all parties to achieve success".
Damascus agreed to transport the "most critical" chemicals, including around 20 tons of mustard nerve agent, out of the Mediterranean port of Latakia by Dec. 31 to be safely destroyed abroad away from the war zone.