News24

Syria: Chemical weapons only on foreigners

2012-07-23 14:22

Damascus - Syria will not use chemical or other unconventional weapons except in the case of a foreign attack, foreign ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdissi said on Monday.

"Syria will not use any chemical or other unconventional weapons against its civilians, and will only use them in case of external aggression," Makdissi told a media conference in Damascus.

"Any stocks of chemical weapons that may exist, will never, ever be used against the Syrian people," he said, adding that in the event of foreign attack, "the generals will be deciding when and how we use them".

Fears have been rising that President Bashar Assad's regime might be prepared to use the country's arsenal of chemical weapons in the repression of a 16-month insurgency after reports his stocks were being moved around the country.

The statement came a day after the US said it would "hold accountable" any Syrian official involved in the release or use of the country's chemical weapons.

Neighbouring Jordan's King Abdullah II also said that in the event of a descent into all-out war, chemical weapons could fall into the hands of extremists, including certain rebel groups.

Heads crushed

Meanwhile, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog told AFP on Monday that at least 23 people had been "summarily executed" by regime forces in two Damascus neighbourhoods on Sunday.

"Sixteen people, most of them younger than 30, were summarily executed by shooting on Sunday in Mazzeh," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said, referring to an upscale district in western Damascus.

Seven others were executed in a similar fashion in Barzeh in the city's north east, he said.

It was unclear whether the executions were of civilians or rebels fighters.

The heads of two of the victims had been crushed by vehicles, and one was shot through the eye, the Britain-based Abdel Rahman said.

Three of the dead were found with their hands tied, and the bodies of some had been pierced by bayonets, he added.

Dozens 'surrender'


Overnight, Syrian state television reported an assault on Mazzeh, calling the operation "targeted and quick".

The broadcaster showed footage of troops firing as they entered part of the neighbourhood and featured an interview with one soldier.

"We came to the Mazzeh area at the request of citizens to fight the terrorists, who have been eliminated," he said.

The state broadcaster also reported that regime forces "chased the remnants of the terrorists in Barzeh".

The operation caused "heavy losses among them, including deaths and injuries. A number of the terrorists were arrested and dozens of them surrendered", the report said.

Comments
  • mnajeeb54 - 2012-07-23 14:49

    leave syria alone!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-23 16:49

      Because an unelected dictator, who's killed, maimed, detained, tortured and raped tens of thousands of Syrians who want to vote, is threatening to use chemical weapons? What kind of world will we have then? Even more violent than the one we already have.

  • martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-23 14:55

    good luck keeping the 3rd world war from coming out of this, everyone is involved, china, russia, the eu, amelica, this is gonna get ugly at some point.

  • hester.matmer.3 - 2012-07-23 15:13

    So why take it out? It's a civil war in that country. Don't know of any interference yet from outside.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-23 16:08

    Just goes to show the level of humanity of this regime.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-23 16:40

    The Americans and her allies can use depleted uranium on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in countless deformed births in that country and yet they want to be the arbitrar of who can and cannot use WMDs. The double standards and sheer hypocrisy are actually becoming quite farcical.....

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-23 16:47

      Fidel's immature anti-West core belief at play again. This is all he sees.

      zaatheist - 2012-07-23 16:53

      Citation please or you made it up.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-23 16:53

      Fidel, THERE WE GO AGAIN The extremists can ONLY survive by CONFUSION !! This is about a TERRORIST, who WILL use chemical weapons against his 'own' people this assad; Uses SNIPERS Uses TANKS to fire rockets into apartment blocks Uses his AIR FORCE, to bomb opposition strongholds Uses GUNSHIP HELICOPTERS to fire live amunition on unarmed civilians Uses his TERRORIST ARMY , to rape and murder unarmed civilians And this DOG won't use chemical weapons on the Syrian population ????? But , let's rather talk CRAP and BULLSH.T about Afghanistan and Iraq !!

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-07-24 01:08

      Fred, you mean all 'she' sees. This is one angry dyke.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-23 20:06

    It's okay that we torture, kill, maim and rape Syrians, though.

      keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-23 21:18

      THAT IDIOT DONKEY ANTHONY DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT THE POEPSAK IDIOT

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-07-24 01:09

      Thought it wouldn't take long before this 'poepsak' crawled out his hole.

  • keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-23 21:15

    LONG LIVE THE ASSAD REGIME DONT LET THE WESTERN VAMPIRES OVER RIDE YOU WITH THE STOOGES AND IDIOT FREE SYRIA SO CALLED ARMY.WIPE THEM OFF THE FAACE OF THE SYRIA SOIL

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-24 00:43

      Nice, and smart. Talk about being reactionary and delusional.

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