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Assad: Syria will allow access to chemical sites

In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian government solider aims his weapon during clashes with Free Syrian Army fighters, not pictured, in Maaloula village, northeast of the capital Damascus, Syria. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels flared again on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 in the ancient, predominantly Christian village of Maaloula. Troops are trying to flush out rebel units, including two that are linked to al-Qaida, from the hilltop enclave which they broke into last week.
In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian government solider aims his weapon during clashes with Free Syrian Army fighters, not pictured, in Maaloula village, northeast of the capital Damascus, Syria. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels flared again on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 in the ancient, predominantly Christian village of Maaloula. Troops are trying to flush out rebel units, including two that are linked to al-Qaida, from the hilltop enclave which they broke into last week.
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Updated: 9/24/2013 12:15 am
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad says his government will allow international experts access to its chemical weapons sites but that rebels might block them from reaching some of the locations.

In an interview with Chinese state TV broadcast Monday, Assad said Damascus is dedicated to implement a Russia-U.S. agreement to surrender its chemical weapons to international control.

Assad also said the Syrian government has already handed over a list of chemical weapons to an international agency policing chemical weapons.

He says his government won't have "any problem" taking experts to sites where the weapons are kept but some places might be difficult to reach due to ongoing fighting or the "local security situation."

He says: "I'm referring to places where militants exist. Those militants might want to stop the experts' arrival."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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