THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog is briefing member states on progress in the high-stakes, high-risk mission to rid Syria of its poison gas stockpile.

The director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (Ahmet Uzumcu), is talking to the group's 41-nation Executive Council at the start of a four-day meeting in The Hague as inspectors continued their mission in Syria to verify and destroy the country's estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal in the midst of a two-year civil war.

A group of experts who were among the first into Syria last week has already returned to the OPCW headquarters to report on their talks with officials from President Bashar Assad's regime in Damascus.