Syrian President Bashar el Assad’s government has made a stunning threat to the world. They say they will not use Syria’s arsenal of chemical or bacteriological weapons to suppress the uprising that has gripped the country for the last year, but can’t promise the same will be true if foreigners intervene in Syria. The British have strongly condemned the threat to use chemical weapons as “unacceptable”.
Syria’s threat to use chemical weapons against foreign intervention is “unacceptable,” .
“This is typical of the complete illusion of this regime, that they are the victims of external aggression,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday at a European Union foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels. “What is actually happening is their own people are rising up against a brutal police state … and in any case it is unacceptable to say that they would use chemical weapons under any circumstances.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi told reporter that any chemical or bacteriological weapons are being stored by the government and are completely secure.
“The ministry wants to re-affirm the stance of the Syrian Arab Republic that any chemical or bacterial weapon will never be used – and I repeat will never be used – during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments. 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.”
Syria has never officially confirmed possession of such weapons until now. They are not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, banning the possession, use or stockpiling of these types of weapons systems.
Makdissi said his biggest fear was that “terrorist groups” by be supplied with chemical or biological weapons and use them against villagers just to blame the government for the hostility.
Makdissi also says that although fighting has gripped Damascus over the course of the last week, there was no chance of the rebels seizing the city and the security situation would be returned to normal within days.