The global chemical weapons watchdog said Assad has destroyed his chemical weapon equipment, but his existing arsenal remains.
John Kerry said the UN report into the Syria chemical attack clearly shows the US were right that Assad was the perpetrator.
US President Barack Obama has tip-toed over the 'red-line' and armed Syrian rebels but it is a gamble of huge proportions.
Amy Smithson, a chemical weapons expert at the US Monterey Institute, said the harder part of eliminating Syria's loot of chemical weapons lies in the next stage, which involves transporting and eliminating the warfare agents. Speaking to Reuters, Ms Smithson said:
What is unknown at present is whether Assad has declared everything in his arsenal - remember, Gaddafi kept a stash and Saddam tried his best to do the same but was outmaneuvered by savvy, determined inspectors - and to what extent Syrian cooperation will continue.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has released the following statement regarding the destruction of equipment "critical" to the production of new chemical weapons in Syria:
– opcw statement
The Joint Mission is now satisfied that it has verified - and seen destroyed - all of Syria’s declared critical production and mixing/filling equipment.
Given the progress made in the Joint OPCW-UN Mission in meeting the requirements of the first phase of activities, no further inspection activities are currently planned.
The next milestone for the mission will be 15 November, by which time the Executive Council must approve a detailed plan of destruction submitted by Syria to eliminate its chemical weapons stockpile.
The first stage in destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles has been completed, according to an official from the international watchdog OPCW.
The announcement comes a day before the deadline set by the Hague-based organisation to destroy or "render inoperable" all equipment for making new chemical weapons.
Syria's weapons stockpiles - consisting of an estimated 1,000 metric tons of chemicals including mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin - must be destroyed by the middle of next year, under the plan submitted by government.
The global chemical weapons watchdog has said that all of Syria's declared chemical weapon production, mixing and filling equipment has been destroyed.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the Assad regime in Syria deserves credit for its compliance in the destruction of the country's chemical weapons.
Speaking following a summit with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry said: "I think it is extremely significant that yesterday, within a week of the resolution being passed, some chemical weapons were already being destroyed.
"I think it is also credit to the Assad regime for complying rapidly, as they are supposed to. We hope that will continue...It is a good beginning and we should welcome a good beginning."
The process of destroying Syria's chemical weapons began today as inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the UN sought to destroy the country's arsenal in compliance with international demands. A UN spokesperson said:
Under the supervision of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, supported by the United Nations, Syrian personnel used cutting torches and angle grinders to destroy or disable a range of items.
This included missile warheads, aerial bombs and mixing and filling equipment. The process will continue in the coming days.
A team of UN chemical experts who began the process of destroying Syria's chemical gas arsenal today returned to their hotel.
International inspectors began destroying Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons and the machinery used to create it, the United Nations said.
A UN official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that the process of assessing, disarming and disabling was already underway.
Today is the first day of the phase of destruction and disabling. Verification will also continue.
The plan was that two types categories of materials would be destroyed: one is equipment for making (weapons) - filling and mixing equipment, some of it mobile, and some it static. The other is actual munitions.
United Nations peace envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, repeated today that peace talks planned for mid-November may not take place.
He told TV5 television and RFI radio:
No, this is not a certainty. I am trying to invite...I am encouraging everybody to come to Geneva in the second half of November.