Destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons begins, U.N. says

Story highlights

"Cutting torches and angle grinders" are being used to destroy the weapons

"Missile warheads, aerial bombs and mixing and filling equipment" are being destroyed

A U.N. team is "monitoring, verifying and reporting" on Syria's compliance with a resolution

"The process will continue in the coming days," the U.N. says

CNN  — 

Syrians began destroying their country’s chemical weapons program Sunday, according to an international team tasked with overseeing the effort.

Syrian personnel are using “cutting torches and angle grinders to destroy or disable a range of items,” a news release from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Sunday. “This included missile warheads, aerial bombs and mixing and filling equipment.”

The OPCW team, which arrived in Damascus on Tuesday, “are monitoring, verifying and reporting on Syria’s compliance with international demands to destroy chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities,” the release said.

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“The process will continue in the coming days,” it said. The inspectors plan to visit nearly 50 sites as part of the mission, the OPCW said.

Some are not convinced the plan will work.

A defected Syrian general told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will never give up its chemical stockpile.