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US warns Bashar al-Assad over chemical weapons

Dec 5, 2012 08:48 IST

#Bashar al-Assad   #NewsTracker   #Syria  

Washington: The Bashar al-Assad regime of Syria would face consequences if it were to use chemical weapons, the US has warned.

In consultation with its other international partners, the White House has said that it is closely monitoring the situation in Syria.

"We continue to make clear that, if the Assad regime were to use chemical weapons in response to the fact that the opposition has been making gains and that their brutal crackdown has not worked, or if they were to engage in proliferation, there will be consequences," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

Bashar al-Assad. Reuters.

"This is a grave matter, and one that the President takes very seriously as do our many international partners on this issue," he said.

"We closely monitor Syria's proliferation-sensitive materials and facilities, and we believe as of now that Syria's chemical weapon stockpile remains under Syrian control, but we closely monitor them. And beyond that, I can't really discuss matters of intelligence," he said.

Noting that the US has been very clear about its policy towards Syria, he said it has engaged internationally and directly, unilaterally, in support of the Syrian people and the Syrian opposition.

"We've provided humanitarian support to the Syrian people and nonlethal support to the opposition," he said.

"We have worked with our international partners to help the Syrian opposition form itself and to take steps to prepare for a post-Assad Syria in which there is a government that reflects the will and wishes of the Syrian people, and respects the liberties of the Syrian people," Carney said.

Noting that the Syrian opposition has made gains that the Assad regime having lost all credibility with its people, continues to lose control over Syria, Carney said the US is very disappointed in the failure of the Security Council because of a lack of agreement by some members to take concerted action through the Security Council against Assad.

"But we continue to work through the Friends of Syria and with our other international partners to pressure Assad to assist the people of Syria and the opposition, and that work continues," he said.

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