UN recommends 100-strong Syria chemical arms demolition team
UNITED NATIONS (REUTERS) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has told the Security Council that the international team of experts who will oversee the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons team will number around 100 and will likely require help from UN member states.
An advance team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with UN support personnel on Sunday oversaw Syrian forces using blowtorches and angle grinders to render missile warheads and bombs unusable. The demolition work is due to last until mid-2014.
The letter to the 15-nation council said the dismantling would take place in three phases - an initial phase, which has begun; a second phase involving the destruction of chemical weapons and mixing equipment; and a third phase in which the total elimination of the program will be verified and monitored.
"Phase III will be the most difficult and challenging phase," according to the letter, which was obtained by Reuters.