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UN Begins Dismantling Syria's Chemical Arms

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Russian support for his government is stronger than ever. (file photo)
Disarmament experts from the international chemical weapons watchdog have begun destroying Syria's chemical arsenal.

The announcement was made on October 6 by a United Nations official working alongside inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). That mission was established under a UN resolution passed after agreement between Russia and the United States.

The Syrian government gave details of its chemical weapons arsenal last month to the OPCW. Under the deal, Syria's chemical weapons capability is to be removed by the middle of 2014.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad has told the German magazine "Der Spiegel" that U.S. President Barack Obama did not have "even a whisper of proof" that Assad's forces used sarin gas during an August 21 attack near Damascus. Assad said Russian government support for his regime is stronger than ever.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa