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Syria chemical weapons team to probe nearly 50 sites

From CNN's Nick Patton Walsh
updated 11:13 AM EDT, Sat September 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Official: may "potentially" need to seek third party troops
  • Initial inspections team will consist of twenty people, based in Damascus
  • Official: slightly fewer than 50 chemical weapons sites
  • Some sites will require travel through rebel held areas

(CNN) -- When inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrive in Damascus on Monday they'll face a daunting task. They'll need to visit nearly 50 different sites as part of the effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

That news comes from an official with the OPCW who says some of the locations are near contested areas, and that to access some of the locations will require travel through rebel held areas.

These details highlight the continued security questions surrounding the plan, which just won backing from the U.N. Security Council.

Even with the go-ahead from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the conditions, including active combat, raise logistical concerns.

The OPCW says it may "potentially" need to seek third party troops (not Syrian, or OPCW), to assist with security during the mission. The official went on to say that the team will initially consist of 20 people based in Damascus.

CNN's Emma Lacey-Bordeaux contributed to this report.

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