Syria chemical weapons disarmament begins

Team of disarmament inspectors has reportedly started destroying chemical arms and production facilities. Reuters
A team of international weapons experts began destroying Syria\’s chemical arsenal on Sunday, the first step in the United Nations resolution after August\’s deadly nerve gas attack killed an estimated 1,400. 
Authorities say Sunday is the first day of the dismantling process, which also includes the facilities used to produce the weapons.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said last month that he would comply with the operation, saying Syria had joined an international convention banning chemical weapons weeks before a U.N. Security Council resolution called on Syria to eliminate its chemical weapons.
Inspectors are tasked by the U.N. to dismantle and ultimately destroy Syria\’s chemical weapons program by mid-2014.
The push to destroy Syria\’s chemical weapons program came after an August attack near Damascus that killed hundreds of civilians, including children.
The team is in Syria under the terms of a UN resolution that enshrined a US-Russian agreement for President Bashar al-Assad\’s regime to turn over its chemical weapons for destruction.
The deal was hammered out in the wake of an August 21 sarin attack on the outskirts of Damascus, which the US blamed on Assad\’s government – a charge it denies.
Washington threatened military action in response to the chemical attack, but a strike was averted after the US-Russia deal was agreed.
Under the UN resolution on the agreement, Syria\’s chemical weapons arsenal is to be destroyed by mid-2014.
More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and the UN refugee agency says about one third of Syria\’s pre-war population of 20.8 million have fled their homes, either to other countries or safer areas within Syria.
Source: Agencies
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