Inspectors Start Destroying Syria’s Chemical Weapons

The U.N. hopes to destroy Assad's chemical weapons and the machinery used to create them by Nov. 1

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Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, meets Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, left, in Damascus

International inspectors have begun destroying Syria’s chemical weapons and the machinery used to create them, a United Nations official said Sunday.

The U.N. came to a rare consensus last month when it agreed to eliminate Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons program within nine months under a Security Council resolution.

A deadly Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus, which killed hundreds of civilians, was the impetus for the U.N. agreement, averting for the moment possible American military intervention.

The U.N. could not confirm to the Associated Press what specifically was destroyed or where the destruction took place.