International disarmament experts were to begin cataloguing Syria's vast arsenal of chemical weapons Wednesday, checking a list of sites provided by Damascus and conducting on the spot tests ahead of its destruction
The 19-strong team from The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Damascus Tuesday to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2118 ordering the elimination of Syria's chemical arsenal by mid-2014.
The mission was to begin work a day after Syria's opposition warned of a "humanitarian disaster" in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyet al-Sham, one of the areas reportedly targeted in an August 21 sarin attack that killed hundreds of people.
"In the coming days, their efforts are expected to focus on verifying information provided by the Syrian authorities and the initial planning phase of helping the country destroy its chemical weapons production facilities," a UN statement said.
This should be completed by November 1, it added.