|UN experts begin destroying Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons||
A team of disarmament inspectors in Syria have begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons and production facilities.
A source in the international mission told AFP on Sunday that members of the team from the UN and The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) "have left for a site where they are beginning verification and destruction".
"Today is the first day of destruction, in which heavy vehicles are going to run over and thus destroy missile warheads, aerial chemical bombs and mobile and static mixing and filling units," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added.
The Associated Press also said it had spoken to a UN official who confirmed that inspectors had begun destroying the stockpile.
The official, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity, couldn't confirm what specifically was destroyed, but said that by the end of Sunday, a combination of both weapons and some production equipment would be put out of order.
Earlier this week, a Hague-based OPCW official stated that all “expedient methods” would be used to ensure Syria’s production facilities would be rendered unusable. He added that procedures might entail the use of explosives, sledgehammers, or the pouring in of concrete.
The mission follows a UN resolution which demanded that Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal be destroyed. The procedure to purge the country of chemical weapons stocks has a target finish date of mid-2014.
The United States and its allies have been threatening Syria with military action in response to the August 21 attack in Damascus's eastern Ghouta suburbs, when UN experts say sarin gas was used “on a large scale.”
Both Syria’s government and rebel forces have accused each other of using chemical weapons, and both sides have denied carrying out attacks.
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