BEIRUT — International inspectors arrived in Damascus on Tuesday to begin the monumental task of overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in the middle of a civil war.
The inspectors from a Netherlands-based chemical weapons watchdog have around nine months to complete their mission that calls for finding, dismantling and eliminating President Bashar Assad's estimated 1,000-ton arsenal.
Their task has been endorsed by a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for Syria's chemical stockpile to be scrapped by mid-2014. The deadline is the tightest that the experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have ever faced.
An advanced team of 20 inspectors arrived in Damascus late Tuesday afternoon in a 19-vehicle convoy escorted from the Lebanese border by two Syrian Foreign Ministry representatives. The experts were expected to meet with ministry officials later in the day.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.