UN chemical team heads to unknown site in Syria

UN chemical team heads to unknown site in Syria
Thu Oct 3, 2013 12:00:09

The UN 9-member disarmament experts have tasked with implementing a UN resolution ordering the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal have left their hotel and headed for an unknown location.

Two days after arriving in Damascus, the experts from The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) drove off in three UN vehicles, an AFP photographer reported.

The nine men are part of a team of 19 experts who arrived on Tuesday to oversee the implementation of UN resolution 2118, which orders Syria's chemical weapons destroyed.

The resolution was passed after reports of use of chemical weapons in an attack near capital Damascus on August 21.

The Syrian government says it has evidence the attack was carried out by the militants, while the opposition has blamed the government for the incident.

The OPCW mission is currently focusing its efforts on verifying information provided by the government on the arsenal.

The task is huge, as Syria is believed to have more than 1,000 tons of sarin, mustard gas and other banned chemicals stored at an estimated 45 sites across the country.

The mission is the first in OPCW history to take place in a war zone.

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