‘No info on use of chemical weapons by Syrians`

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 23:37

Washington: The US Tuesday said that it has no information about Syrian rebels using chemical weapons as claimed by President Bashar Assad`s regime and warned that the any use of such arms is "unacceptable".

Responding to questions that Syrian rebels have killed 25 people in a chemical weapons attack, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "We have no evidence to substantiate the charge that the opposition has used chemical weapons."

"We are deeply skeptical of a regime that has lost all credibility. And we would also warn the regime against making these kinds of charges as any kind of pretext or cover for its use of chemical weapons," he said.

Syria`s embattled government today claimed that 25 people were killed in Aleppo in a chemical weapons attack by rebels.

America is evaluating the charges that are being made and the allegations, consulting closely with its partners, in the region and in the international community, he said.

"We have been very clear about our concern, that as the Assad regime is increasingly beleaguered and finds its escalation of violence through conventional means inadequate, including the barbaric use of Scud missiles against population centers, that it will consider the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. This is a serious concern," Carney said.

"It is important that as fighting in Syria intensifies and the regime becomes more desperate, that the United States and the international community make absolutely clear to Assad that use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable," he said in response to a question.
"The President was clear when he said that if Assad and those under his command make the mistake of using chemical weapons or fail to meet their obligations to secure them, then there will be consequences, and they will be held accountable. The international community is united on this issue, and the message of the Assad regime has been very clear," he said.

Carney said the Administration is carefully evaluating information related to the use of chemical weapons.

"The issue of the possibility of chemical weapons use remains a great concern. You`ve heard the President express his position when he said, quote, `the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable,` and his warning to the Syrian regime that, quote, `there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable if the regime were to use chemical weapons`," he said.

"We are constantly assessing our programs of assistance to the Syrian people and to the Syrian opposition and we evaluate them and the options available based on what we think will best serve our policy, and that is to help bring about a future where Syria is rid of Assad and that Syrians have the opportunity to build a country that is more democratic, more prosperous and a stable country within the region," he said.

"That process continues. Our position is and remains that we are not supplying lethal assistance to the opposition, but we are, of course, as you would expect, constantly evaluating and assessing our various assistance programs," Carney said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 23:37

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