A poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad adorns a wall as a United Nations vehicle carrying inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons leaves a hotel in Wednesday in Damascus. Some 19 OPCW arms experts and 16 UN logistics and security personnel are in Syria and have started to destroy weapons production facilities. (Louai Beshara / AFP via Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS — The chief of the world’s chemical weapons watchdog says the organization has to visit more than 20 sites in Syria as part of the unprecedented international mission to destroy the country’s poison gas arsenal, including some where it may be necessary to negotiate cease-fires before they can gain access.
In his first public remarks about the mission, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmet Uzumcu said Wednesday inspectors have so far visited one site and are about to visit a second.
The joint United Nations-OPCW mission entered Syria last week and has already overseen the first stages of destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal. A second team is being sent to Syria to bolster the mission.