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Watchdog says inspectors can't access 2 chemical weapons sites in Syria

Oct. 8, 2013 - FILE image made from video broadcast on Syrian State Television shows a chemical weapons expert taking samples at a chemical weapons plant at an unknown location in Syria. The dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile is under way, but the mission faces multiple challenges.AP

The global chemical weapons watchdog says its inspectors in Syria have not been able to reach two sites because of security concerns, meaning that one of the first in a series of tight deadlines on the path toward destroying the country's poison gas stockpile by mid-2014 has been missed.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Monday that as of Sunday its inspectors in Syria have checked 21 out of 23 sites declared by Damascus to be part of its poison gas and nerve agent program.

The mission update didn't say who was responsible for the security problem, but that negotiations "to ensure the conditions necessary for safe access" to the two remaining sites will continue.

Officials have said cease-fires may be needed to reach some sites.