US warns Assad over chemical arms

2012-12-03 14:00

Prague - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday issued a "strong warning" to the regime of Bashar Assad over the potential use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.

"This is a red line for the United States," Clinton said after meeting Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

"Once again we issue a very strong warning to the Assad regime that their behaviour is reprehensible. Their actions against their own people have been tragic," she added.

"I'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people, but suffice it to say that we're certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur," the top US diplomat stressed.

"There is no doubt that there is a line between the horrors that they [the Assad regime] have already inflicted on the Syrian people and moving to what would be an internationally condemned step of utilising chemical weapons," Clinton stressed, without providing further details on the nature of the planned action.

The warning came as the New York Times reported on Monday that the Americans and Europeans had sent warnings via intermediaries to the Syrian regime after detecting movement of chemical weapons by the Syrian military in recent days.

41 000 dead

"The activity we are seeing suggests some potential chemical weapon preparation," one US official told the daily, which added that the activity over the weekend has set off a flurry of emergency communications among the Western allies.

Nato is preparing to meet on Tuesday for two days of talks, with the brutal conflict in Syria set to top the agenda.

On Sunday, a senior US State Department official told reporters travelling with Clinton that Washington was "hopeful that Nato will be in a position to respond positively and agree to help Turkey bolster its air defences" by approving Ankara's request to deploy Patriot missiles on the border with Syria.

"If Nato takes a positive decision to do it... I think it would still probably be at least a matter of weeks," the official said, asking to remain anonymous, as Clinton arrived in the Czech Republic on the first stop of a five-day Europe trip.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 41 000 people, including thousands of infants, children and women, have perished since the uprising against Assad's regime erupted in March 2011.

  • anton.briel.5 - 2012-12-03 14:22

    Dictator, like uor very own Zuma

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-03 14:51

      Luckily for us Assad has an army, we don't

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-03 18:20

      Patrick, Yes, the ones who cheer for this assad terrorist, are dependent on him to feed their families.........., And as soon as they also realize that others can give them the same security as this thug, they will also , spit on his photograph !!!!!!!

  • Pieter van Staden - 2012-12-03 14:30

    Yes and we don't even have an official civil war going on in this sh#thole.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-12-03 14:30

    we live in an age where cowards rule and innocents die companies put the most junior job hires through a more rigorous process than we do the leaders we 'vote' for the world will continue to slide into chaos and anarchy as long as we don't demand more and better quality leaders. someone must clarify the difference between a pedophile and politician for me..

  • dane.herbst.5 - 2012-12-03 14:46

    all proporganda, and who else is behind it but the US, who are they to demand what others can and cant do, there is no proof of WMD in the hands of Assad, yet everyone climbs on the band wagon and believes there is because a certain mrs clinton says there is, remember irag, afgahnistan, vietnam etc etc, who is to blame, no one but the US, i dont trust them as far as i could throw them

      mfumbayelangabi.silwane - 2012-12-03 14:58

      I fully support you Herbst, America cannot be trusted,they are a danger to the free world.......

      graydon.meneses - 2012-12-03 16:24

      If the USA stays out of the conflict, everyone blames them for not using their influence to help. If the USA goes in, everyone shouts that they are bullies. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Too many people jump on the America-hate bandwagon without reason, and Herbst, you're obviously one of them. Silwane... did you just refer to Syria (iraq, iran, libya, vietnam, cambodia, north korea, afghanistan - places the USA were involved in conflict) as the "free world"? are you high? - 2012-12-04 04:46

      Where's your tin foil hat??

      johan.mostert.967 - 2012-12-04 07:36

      but you guys didn't had a problem when the evil US helped fighting for your freedom.

  • kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-03 14:49

    Looks like Assad recons what happened to Saddam Hussein and Gadaffi can't happen to him. Well that's what they all thought

  • mfumbayelangabi.silwane - 2012-12-03 14:55

    Mrs Clinton ,do you happen to recall anything regarding Agent Orange and the Vietnam War in the early sixties.Shame on you Americans.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-03 18:10

      DelusionBuster, SPOT ON !!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-03 20:17

      Patrick, The closer the end of your terrorist assad friend , the more irrational you get, and your comments swing between absurdity and plain lunacy !!! Shame man, you were wrong with; TUNESIA EGYPT LIBYA, very very wrong!!! and now with; SYRIA !!!! You have clocked THOUSANDS of 'thumbs down' and convinced NOBODY of your convictions, , except some of your friends of the violent loony left!!! What a sad waste of time !!!!!!!11

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-04 04:19

      Patrick, For you, it is always a matter to confuse. JZ was not at issue here. But if you really want to know, the following; I am a member of the ANC, and up to some months ago, supported Zuma, but no longer do so; This corruption BS, with him , family and friends , is now too much !! Happy now ??? - 2012-12-04 04:56

      Are you an idiot or something? That was over 40 years ago and use of such things has been outlawed in the West since. If a murderer repents, can he never condemn murder? People like you prevent progress because they're too hung up on the past. I guess next you're going to say that white South Africans can't condemn racism? THINK.

  • diana.gill.18 - 2012-12-03 14:58

    If such warning comes from the US side you must take it not with a pinch but with 40kgs bag of salt. Who knows if chemical weapons not on the way to Syria, sent to the rebels army, not to the government.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-03 15:06

      Yip they are the experts in bringing about regime change in a flash. This is a good time for Asad to start worrying

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-03 18:14

      . If such comment comes from Diana, you must take it not with a pinch but with 40kgs bag of salt.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-03 20:28

      Patrick, You don't have to rub it in, we all know you are a RACIST !!!!!!!

  • rude.awakning - 2012-12-03 15:24

    i guess they spotted the can of Doom on the window sill of the syrian minister of security's office! They are a fine bunch to talk! Its their friggen weapons that causing the body count The fact is in about 2weeks Assad is going to be accused of having used chemical weapons, this to further demonise him and make the ''opposition'' look like the guardian angles! Its high time that the interfering west realise the sh*t they are causing!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-03 18:53

      Diana, Oooops !! I thought you nhad to much to drink last night, before you posted your comments !!!!!!!! But, now I realize, this is just you!!!! Sorrrryyy!!!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-03 21:00

      To true...! rude.awakening! At least Anthony doesn't need to drink or take drugs to be an a@@hole it all just comes naturally to him..ever wondered why you did not have many friends at school and why people generally don't like you.Ant you find your only audience on this forum in every day life you are a lonely bitter individual who nobody has much time for!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-04 04:24

      My dear Dankie, Just on 'anthonyfromafrica' ; comments; 3 881 thumbs up; 23 638 thumbs down; 10 055 I am comfortable, Very comfortable !! You have a good day !!!

  • nadiah.rabin.3 - 2012-12-03 15:28

    It is so shamefull what Assad is doing to his people...I have been watching all vidoes on you tube and what my source of info has sent me....To see how frantically the kids and mothers have to run for cover when Assads regime bombs the towns is so sick......I have seen some horrific pictures of children who was killed...For him to now decide to use chemical warfare is PLAIN DOWNRIGHT MURDER.....what i also do not understand, why is no one helping those people. Why is it taking so long for someone to make a statement as Hilary Clinton did....after so many lives lost so gruesomely....WHY IN HEAVANS NAME DOES HE NOT STEP DOWN LIKE THE PEOPLE WANTS HIM DO.?NOW HE IS DESTROYING THE COUNTRY BEFORE HE GOES DOWN..

      graydon.meneses - 2012-12-03 16:28

      Delusion -agreed. see my comments on herbst and silwane as well.

  • arnaud.munezero - 2012-12-03 16:22

    If the world hegemony does not stand and if there is no application of international law on Syria situation this might be the beginning of the third world war, according to Assad if the western intervene :this war will cost the world more than what you can think it will go from Pacific to Atlantic.Let wait what will happen.

  • venus.nakesch - 2012-12-03 17:04

    Arabs are very strange people. how come a people can murder each other like that. first we saw it with Saddam Hussein in Iraq when he killed a Kurd village with chimerical bombs then its Mr Assad's turn? do not blame the West because since the war has started they haven't put their nose in your domestic affairs, do not blame others for being responsible for your acts Mr president because we've all seen how, where and why this war started. many of your friends stepped down due to people's protest, why are you so delusional as your are, can somebody answer me?

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