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U.N. team begins destruction of Syrian chemical weapons

Oct. 6, 2013 at 3:50 PM   |   Comments

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DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- U.N. experts began field visits in Syria Sunday, starting the process of destroying the country's chemical arsenal, a source told Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The team, made up of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations, arrived in Syria Tuesday and had meetings with Syrian ministry officials before starting the ground work, the news agency said.

The U.N. Security Council tasked the team with helping Syria destroy its chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014 in accordance with a new U.N. resolution.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Network for Human Rights announced the death toll of Syrian citizens from conflict in September 2013 was 2,811.

That number included 792 armed rebels, 1,584 civilians and 264 children. Of those, 159 were tortured to death, a release from the group said.

"SNHR holds the Syrian president commander in chief of the Syrian army, Bashar al-Assad, responsible for all acts of homicide, torture and massacres perpetrated in Syria as he holds the primary responsibility for giving the orders for these acts. SNHR considers all Syrian regime members and heads of the security and military bodies directly complicity in those acts. By the same token, SNHR considers the Iranian government and Hezbollah as direct partners in the acts of homicide who shall legally and judicially liable for those acts along with all those funding and supporting the Syrian regime which is systematically committing massacres on a daily basis," the release said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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