DAMASCUS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Twelve more experts on chemical weapons were confirmed to have arrived in Syria, bringing the total strength of the Organization for the Prohibition the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to 27, an OPCW official told Xinhua on Thursday.
The confirmation were made a day after Ahmet Uzumcu, head of the OPCW, said at a press conference in the Hague that 12 chemical experts were deployed to Syria.
Uzumcu said that a temporary ceasefire in Syria will permit the experts to carry out their work quickly.
He added that the deadline for destroying the chemical weapons is "extremely tight" and that there have been significant logistical and security challenges.
"I think that the elimination of those weapons is in the interest of all. Therefore, if we can assure some cooperation by all parties, and some temporary ceasefire could be established in order to permit our experts to work in a permissible environment .. . I think the targets could be reached," he said.
Uzumcu hailed the Syrian authority for cooperation, saying that the Syrian authorities have been cooperative so far.
The first group of chemical experts arrived in Syria last Tuesday and met with Syrian foreign ministry officials before they started their ground work on Oct. 6.
The United Nations Security Council said the OPCW will help Syria destroy its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The mission will be expanded as more investigators will arrive in the unrest-torn country by the first of November.