(DAMASCUS, Syria) — A second team of experts will arrive in Damascus Wednesday to assist the current group in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenals as dictated by last month’s United Nations Security Council resolution.
All the inspectors are from the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was set up to assure compliance of treaties prohibiting deadly toxins and agents.
Work on the massive undertaking actually started last week with the first team beginning the destruction of components used to produce, mix and fill equipment that makes chemical weapons. It’s expected that phase of the mission will be completed by Nov. 1.
The major part of the project, and far more complex, is the actual elimination of Syria’s approximately 1,000-ton chemical stockpile, which is expected to carry over into mid-2014. The operation is made more complicated by the ongoing war between President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebel forces, which has cost approximately 115,000 lives.
Nonetheless, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russia counterparts have been encouraged by the Syrian government’s cooperation up to now.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN