International

Oct 1, 2013 8:04 AM by Associated Press

Chemical weapons inspectors cross into Syria

BEIRUT (AP) - An advance group of international inspectors charged with overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons have crossed into the country from neighboring Lebanon.

Twenty inspectors from a Netherlands-based chemical weapons watchdog are traveling to Damascus to begin a complex mission of finding and dismantling an estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal as the civil war rages in Syria.

The inspectors have about nine months to complete their task to have the Syrian regime destroy its chemical stockpile by mid-2014.

The first group of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons entered Syria Tuesday through the Masnaa border crossing with Lebanon.

They are expected to meet with Syrian Foreign Ministry officials on arrival in the capital, Damascus.

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