Skip to main content

Syria chemical weapons team to probe nearly 50 sites

From CNN's Nick Patton Walsh
updated 11:13 AM EDT, Sat September 28, 2013
  • 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.

Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 8:28 AM EST, Tue March 4, 2014
Syria has submitted a revised proposal "that aims to complete the removal of all chemicals" from the country before the end of April.
updated 5:32 AM EST, Tue February 18, 2014
CNN's Arwa Damon reports on ISIS defector who says destroying ISIS as critical as defeating regime.
updated 10:53 PM EST, Mon February 17, 2014
The U.S. wants a United Nations resolution that will, among other things, bring humanitarian aid for refugees in Syria.
updated 7:59 AM EST, Mon February 17, 2014
When the radical Islamist militia ISIS arrived in the Syrian town of Addana a year ago, many welcomed them. What followed changed their minds.
updated 9:49 AM EST, Mon February 17, 2014
CNN obtained video clips from Syrian activists documenting the atrocities committed by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS.
updated 3:17 PM EST, Tue February 18, 2014
On Crossfire, Danielle Pletka discusses what the U.S. needs to do to resolve the Syria crisis.
updated 8:01 PM EST, Wed February 5, 2014
Her almond-shaped brown eyes shine through her sunken face as a doctor lifts her sweater to reveal a tiny rib cage pushing against her skin.
updated 12:46 PM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to around 100,000 Syrian refugees. CNN spent several days meeting the residents of the camp.
updated 2:59 PM EST, Wed January 22, 2014
Renowned war crimes prosecutors and forensic experts have found "direct evidence" of "torture and killing" by the Assad regime.
Traumatized children who have witnessed the horrors of war are being helped to read -- and rebuild a normal life. CNN's Becky Anderson reports.
updated 7:07 AM EST, Thu January 23, 2014
A battle zone tour organized by the Syrian government for CNN and several other media outlets Wednesday was more than bizarre.
updated 12:35 PM EST, Wed January 22, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert meets with the family of a little girl who was wounded in Syria, now living in a refugee camp.
updated 9:56 AM EST, Mon January 27, 2014
110 year old, Jabari Alawali walked for over 10 hours to reach Jordan from Syria.