Syria says foreign-backed rebels may use chemical weapons
DAMASCUS, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) — The Syrian government expressed Saturday concerns that countries supporting the rebels may provide them with chemical weapons and later frame the government.
“What raises concerns regarding this news circulated by the media is our serious fear that some of the countries backing terrorism and terrorists might provide the armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons and claim that it was the Syrian government that use the weapons,” Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a letter sent to the United Nations on Saturday.
The ministry warned that the “terrorist groups” might resort to chemical weapons against the Syrian people, and denounced what it described as the international community’s “inaction” to deal with the developments after the “terrorist groups” recently took hold of a chlorine processing plant near the northern city of Aleppo.
The ministry’s remarks came as the United States and its Western allies recently raised concerns over the Syrian chemical arsenal and speculated that Syria might use those weaponries against the armed militias.
Syria has repeatedly denied having such arms and stressed that even if it had those weapons, it wouldn’t use them.
Meanwhile, the foreign ministry repeated the government’s line that the “terrorists” in Syria are backed by the West, especially the United States.
“The U.S. administration has consistently worked over the past year to launch a campaign of allegations on the possibility that Syria could use chemical weapons during the current crisis,” said the ministry.
The ministry also cited a recent report by the Turkish Yurt newspaper which said members from al-Qaida are manufacturing chemical weapons at a laboratory near the Turkish city of Gaziantep and they have threatened to use them against the Syrian civilians.
ISLAHIYE, Turkey, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that the United Nations did not receive any confirmed reports that the Syrian government was preparing to use chemical weapons, but noted that it would be “outrageous crime” if it did so.
“But if it is the case, it would be an outrageous crime in the name of humanity,” he said. Full story
MOSCOW, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — The deployment of anti-aircraft missiles on the Turkish borders with Syria was a sign of NATO’s involvement in the Syrian crisis, said Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko on Friday. Full story
BRUSSELS, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday reiterated a stern warning to the Syrian government not to use chemical weapons against rebel forces.
“Our concerns are increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons or might lose control of them to one of many groups that are now operating within Syria,” Clinton said after her last attendance of NATO foreign ministers’ meeting. Full story
DAMASCUS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — A Syria military source denied Friday media reports circulating on some Arab TVs that rebels took control over the country’s international airport in the capital Damascus. Full story