Despite obstacles, experts say Syria's chemical weapons threat can be neutralized in weeks

  • by: KARIN LAUB , Associated Press
  • Updated: October 14, 2013 - 2:35 PM

BEIRUT — The destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile is well underway, and the agency overseeing it — the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — has won a Nobel Peace Prize. But despite global praise and a smooth start, the mission faces difficult challenges, from tight deadlines to safety risks for inspectors trying to get to sites near fighting. There's also political fallout. The decision to make Syrian President Bashar Assad a partner in destroying the stockpile appears to have restored some of his legitimacy and boosted his chances of staying in power longer, while angering his opponents who now balk at attending political transition talks the U.S. hopes will begin in November.

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