(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) — Barely a month after it seemed that the stalemate over Syria’s chemical weapons would lead to a much wider war in the region, the head of an international watchdog group was praising Damascus for its help in ridding the country of the deadly arsenals.
Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told reporters in The Hague Wednesday, “The cooperation has been quite constructive, and I will say that the Syrian authorities have been cooperative.”
The organization now has two teams of inspectors on the ground in Syria to oversee the process of destroying chemical weapons equipment by the beginning of November.
Once that’s completed, the teams with additional help will move on to the more arduous and complex task of locating and eradicating Syria’s approximately 1,000-ton chemical stockpile, which is expected to carry over into mid-2014
What Uzumcu and his inspectors are now awaiting from Syria is a plan for destroying the weapons, which is due by Oct. 27.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN