In this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency, SANA, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Damascus, September 18, 2013.
SANA / Reuters

Today, inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are due to arrive in Damascus, Syria, where they will begin the exceptionally difficult process of destroying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capability. The inspectors are going in on the heels of a unanimous UN Security Council resolution that banks on Assad’s cooperation with the disarmament process. (Assad gassed civilians in the suburbs of Damascus with the nerve agent sarin as recently as August 21, after which Russia may have read him the riot act. This development, combined with U.S. gunboat diplomacy and the recent 

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.