Cyprus to help Syria's weapons inspectors

Oct 18, 2013, 6:30 AM EDT
Apprentice chemical weapons inspectors of the United Nations and extras take part in an exercise during the education of OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) inspectors at the German army Bundeswehr training area in Wildfelecken, southern Germany, on October 16, 2013.
AFP/Getty Images

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus has approved the creation of a support base for the chemical weapons inspectors working in Syria, including the use of an old airport that will allow them to travel between the two countries by helicopter.

The Cypriot government said Friday its goal is to help with the inspectors' difficult mission of destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal during the country's civil war.

The base will be located at a disused Nicosia airport inside the U.N.-controlled buffer zone that separates the island's Greek-speaking south and Turkish-speaking north.

Inspectors also will be able to stay at hotels in Nicosia, which is about 140 miles (225 kilometers) from the Syrian port of Latakia.

The mission in Syria is being conducted by the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.