UK & World News
Syrian Regime 'May Have' Chemical Weapons
Syria's deputy foreign minister has told Sky News that he does not know if the regime has chemical weapons.
Faisal Mekdad said: "We don't know if we have them or not.
"We have said at different times, on different occasions, that even if we have them, we will not use them against our people."
Mr Mekdad also dismissed reports that the regime was preparing for Syrian president Bashar al Assad's exile as "laughable".
He said: "I assure you 100% that President Assad will never ever leave his country Syria."
The senior minister was responding to a Sky News report on continuing fighting in parts of Damascus, where Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor has reported the Syrian army is keeping control of the centre as the Free Syrian Army remain in the suburbs.
The comments about chemical weapons came a day after UN leader Ban Ki-moon formally warned Mr Assad against using such weapons in the country's civil war.
Mr Ban said any use of chemical arms would have "huge consequences" for the Syrian leader, adding to stern warnings made by US President Barack Obama and other Western leaders in recent days.
In Brussels, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated concerns, saying "an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons" or lose control of them to militant groups.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said a letter outlining the warning was handed to Syrian authorities on Tuesday.
"The fundamental responsibility of the Syrian government is to ensure the safety and security of any such stockpiles, and of course the use of any such weapons would be an outrageous crime," Mr Nesirky said.
On Wednesday warplanes pounded suburbs of Damascus as regime forces battled rebels who are inching closer to the capital, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It said at least 53 people had been killed on Wednesday, including 21 in and around the city.
Damascus has in recent days been the focus of clashes following a major operation launched last week by the President's forces to prevent rebels from advancing on the capital, analysts say.
what do you think?
are these the same weapons that saddam hussein had?
Yep they are indeed the convoys leaving Iraq into Syria, but wasn't stopped because civilians where amongst the convoy, leaving the conflict, so yes they have chemical weapons.
Indeed. Why didn't we deal with both countries at the same time. Indeed, shows why we need to back Israel to the hilt...
And if they do- lets give up our own and stop selling them to others before we ascend the moral high ground.
There are now too many of us banging the drums to wake the easily influenced minds that swallow this bile. Never ever will we fall for this stunt again. Leave Syria and Iran alone!
I see those silly pills your taking are really working
Pure propaganda designed to blacken the Syrian government, meanwhile Hague's terrorist friends have murdered 29 schoolchildren and their teacher, if you want to see what kind of people our government is backing with your money, google Syrian Post Office massacre.
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Are you for real or wum.asaad as killed over 40,000 of his own people.
I've switched to Bing as Google don't pay their taxes.
Have a look at the "rebels" own video Mark, slaughtering post office workers for the "crime" of being state employees, shouting "god is great" as their victims hit the ground after being thrown off a high rise building. And you support these people!
Thay have vx gas and sarin plus other wmd syrian army are looking after them for now.God help us if hizbullah get them.
There wasn't this much interest from western governments or the UN when Israel actually did use chemical weapons on civilians in Gaza, white phosphorous they used, very nasty substance burns through flesh to the bone.
Its also used in Iraq by western lead forces. Horrific stuff.
I think that white phosphorus is actually classed as an incendiary, as is napalm. I'm sure none of that means much if a load of it is dumped over you in a conflict, but if terrorists were to get hold of it there would be far less concern.
Yes Syria has chemical weapons they left Iraq when the conflict was starting. Was amongst the civilians fleeing Iraq into Syria. Both the government and ' rebels ' got blood on their hands. Just feel sorry for the people stuck in the middle
Cold shower now!
Jimmyjedi1979 it isn't me that needs the cold shower
"May" is permission. Yes you may have some milk. "might" is a possibility - Yes, the moon might be green and made of cheese. Is the article writer giving Syria permission to have chemical weapons?
This is a civil war muslim on muslim or sunni on shia .one drop of sarin or vx would wipe out london or aney major city
conspiracy ! , CONSPIRACY ! . your all sheep ! .Moo Mooooooo . lets just cut to the chase and blame the jews yes ? . somehow the west will be to blame aswell . you can't beat good terrorist propaganda
IT CAN'T BE WORSE THAN TRASHY STAFFORDSHIRE SURROUNDED BY LOW LIFE VERMIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!