Press Esc to close
Sunday 21 December 2014
News updated at 8:30 AM IST
Weather
Max: 28°C
Min : 17.6°C
In Bengaluru
Partially cloudy

Britain sees evidence Assad could use chemical weapons

Manama, Dec 8, 2012 (AFP):

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said today said that there is evidence that the Syrian government could use its chemical weapons stocks in its conflict with rebels fighting to oust it.

"We are extremely concerned about the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and we are also concerned about evidence during the last couple of weeks that the regime could use them," Hague told reporters in Manama on the sidelines of a regional security conference.

He said Britain had joined with the United States in delivering a strong message to President Bashar al-Assad's government.

"We have contingency plans concerning chemical weapons but will not disclose them," he added.

Hague said there were several "dangerous scenarios" for such weapons, including their "use by the regime, or falling in the hand of other people".

He said the option of military intervention in Syria had not been "ruled out" but Britain continued to support a peaceful transition.

He said it was not Britain's policy "to supply arms to any side in the Middle East" but added that the opposition fighters were "receiving arms and making progress on the ground".

"We will continue to give them strong practical assistance -- communication equipment and humanitarian assistance," the British minister said.

"I hope that the international community will be giving more support to the (opposition) coalition during the Marrakesh meeting," he said, referring to a meeting of the Friends of Syria group due to be held in the southern Moroccan city on December 12.

Yesterday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said any use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's regime against the rebels would be an "outrageous crime."

Washington has said the use of chemical weapons would be a red line but that it fears battlefield advances by the rebels could prompt the Assad regime to use them, or that stocks could fall into the hands of groups hostile to the United States and its allies.

The Syrian government has insisted it would never resort to the use of chemical weapons in the 21-month conflict, which has killed more than 42,000 people, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Christmas tree ornaments are displayed for customers at the Christmas ...

Christmas tree ornaments are displayed for customers at the Christmas ...

A cyclist takes a ride along the bike path off Truxtun Extension...

A cyclist takes a ride along the bike path off Truxtun Extension...

A participant during the Kambala, a traditional buffalo race...

A participant during the Kambala, a traditional buffalo race...

A large gathering at Virat Hindu Sammelan, organised by VHP...

A large gathering at Virat Hindu Sammelan, organised by VHP...

India's Ishant Sharma, center, celebrates with his teammates after he got the wicket...

India's Ishant Sharma, center, celebrates with his teammates after he got the wicket...

India's Umesh Yadav plays a shot during their play on day four of the second cricket test...

India's Umesh Yadav plays a shot during their play on day four of the second cricket test...

Australia's David Warner dives over the boundary rope trying to take a catch during their ...

Australia's David Warner dives over the boundary rope trying to take a catch during their ...

Indian American Richard Verma sworn-in as US Ambassador to India

Indian American Richard Verma sworn-in as US Ambassador to India

People takes protection against cold with woollens...

People takes protection against cold with woollens...

helicopter following a crash during the men's World Cup Downhill skiing...

helicopter following a crash during the men's World Cup Downhill skiing...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523