The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has announced that the first round of inspections in their ongoing effort to destroy chemical weapons caches in Syria. The team of inspectors currently carrying out the U.N. Security Council's resolution was only able to visit 21 of the 23 identified sites. The other two were located in conflict zones that posted a substantial threat to civilians.
The group said in its brief press release that "The two remaining sites have not been visited due to security reasons. Efforts by the Joint Mission to ensure the conditions necessary for safe access to those sites will continue."
The current plan to destroy equipment necessary for mixing chemicals and loading weapons with said chemicals is expected to be completed by the start of November. Skepticism still remains among American officials, however, about whether or not 23 is actually an accurate quantity of weapons sites. From The New York Times:
A central question is whether Syria has given complete details of its program and an arsenal estimated to include 1,000 tons of chemicals and nerve agents. Although Syria disclosed 23 sites, American officials said in September that they believed at least 45 sites were involved.
According to a European diplomat who has seen relevant documents, Syria has now reported the existence of 41 chemical weapons facilities at the 23 sites it disclosed, information that may help close the gap between Syria’s disclosure and the figure initially stated by American officials.
The Washington Post reports that officials familiar with the disarmament operation believe that the November deadline, the first stage of the plan, will be met, and that the majority of equipment has been rendered inoperable. In addition, they said that Syrian officials tasked with providing site access and security to inspectors have not attempted to obstruct the efforts in any way.