Syrian opposition urges West to act urgently
Syria denies US’ claim of chemical weapons use; Oppn demands action
Zee Media Bureau
Damascus: Two Syrian officials on Friday denied that the government has used chemical weapons against rebel forces, saying the regime had no need for them.
The denials follow assertions by the White House and other top Obama administration officials that US intelligence had concluded with "varying degrees of confidence" that the Syrian government has twice used chemical weapons in its civil war.
A Syrian government official said the government did not and will not use chemical weapons even if it had them. He spoke to the press on Friday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to give official statements.
Syrian official Sharif Shehadeh called the US claims "lies" and likened them to false accusations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction ahead of the US invasion of that country.
Syria's main Western-backed opposition is calling on the international community to act "urgently and decisively" on President Barack Obama's public assertions that Syria's use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line."
The White House and other top Obama administration officials said that US intelligence has concluded with "varying degrees of confidence" that the Syrian government has twice used chemical weapons in its civil war.
A coalition statement called on the world community to prove to the Syrian regime that the statements about crossing a red line were not just "empty words."
It said failure to act will be seen by the regime as a green light to use chemical weapons on a larger scale in the future.
With Agency Inputs