Syria: Here's When We'd Use Chemical Weapons
Not against rebels, but possibly against 'external aggression': official
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2012 9:02 AM CDT
In this image made from video released by the Ugarit News and accessed July 23, 2012, Free Syrian Army soldiers sit on a military tank during clashes with Syrian government troops in Aleppo, Syria.   (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

(Newser) – Despite recent reports that Syria may be preparing to use its chemical weapons, a foreign ministry spokesperson today tried to assure the world that they will not be used on the Syrian people—officially acknowledging for the first time that the country actually has such weapons, reports Reuters. "Any chemical or biological weapons will never be used ... in the Syrian crisis, no matter what the internal developments are," he said. But they could still be used: "These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression."

Meanwhile, though rebels were encouraged by the assassination attack last week that killed four regime officials in Damascus, Syrian troops have now driven rebels out of the city's Mezzeh district, yesterday executing at least 20 unarmed men there, Reuters reports. Violence is also raging in Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, and Deir al-Zor. The EU issued new sanctions against Syria today, the Wall Street Journal adds; those include an asset freeze and travel ban on select Syrians, and a tighter arms embargo. The Arab League promised President Bashar al-Assad a "safe exit" if he steps down now.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Jul 23, 2012 12:02 PM CDT
Jul 23, 2012 10:59 AM CDT
All countries have chemical weapons,It's the Nuclear weapons that are what's to worry about =/ Damned Einstien and his theories! He really messed the world up! Ps,To make this worse,Groups like Aum in Japan,had dangerous neurotoxic chemical weapons!
Jul 23, 2012 9:27 AM CDT
Anyone know where they got their chemical weapons? Tell me not from the USA! Please.