According to FT, the Obama administration warned on Monday that it has “increased concern” about the possibility the Syrian regime may use chemical weapons against its opponents and added that Washington was renewing consultations with allies about the issue.
Amid indications that US intelligence agencies in recent days have received new and credible intelligence relating to the movement of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks, Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said the US was closely monitoring Syria’s “proliferation-sensitive materials and facilities”.
“We believe that with the regime’s grip on power loosening, with its failure to put down the opposition through conventional means, we have an increased concern about the possibility of the regime taking the desperate act of using its chemical weapons,” Mr Carney told reporters at a regular briefing.
In a speech on Monday, President Barack Obama warned that the Syrian regime would face “consequences” if it used chemical weapons against its own people. “The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable,” said Mr Obama.
Mr Carney’s comments came as a US official said there had been indications that Syria had begun mixing chemicals which could potentially be used to produce sarin gas.
The Financial Times has learnt that there was intense diplomacy by the US and its allies at the weekend over Syria’s chemical weapons. This came after Washington received credible intelligence relating to the movement of parts of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks.
According to diplomats, the US and UK special representatives at the UN delivered messages to Syria’s ambassador at the weekend, asserting that their governments were watching developments in Syria closely and that any use of chemical weapons by the regime would be unacceptable.
“There was intense lobbying at the UN over this issue and contact was made with the Russian ambassador at the UN to make sure the message got through to the Syrians,” said a diplomatic source.
The Syrian foreign ministry reiterated a pledge not to use chemical weapons against its own people on Monday.
“Syria has stressed repeatedly that it will not use these types of weapons, if they were available, under any circumstances against its people,” the statement said.
Escalating violence meanwhile caused the UN to announce a pullout of all non-essential international staff. Up to 25 of its 100 foreign staff in Syria could leave by the end of the week, the body said.
Meanwhile, a diplomat in the region said that Jihad Makdissi – the Syrian foreign ministry’s spokesman – had left the country amid speculation that he may either have abandoned the regime or been sacked.
Mr Makdissi has been one of the regime’s most prominent advocates throughout the 20-month uprising.
Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, warned Syria on Monday that Washington will take action if it sees evidence that Bashar al-Assad’s government is using chemical weapons against the opposition.
On a visit to Prague, she said: “Suffice it to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur,” adding that the use of such weapons was “a red line for the United States.”
This matter was on news before, when the rebels were trying to get access to chemical depot and use them blaming the Assad regime. But the plan did not work then. Now, after arming the rebels with upgraded weapons, it is likely that the US and its allies are building a plan to bring out some chemical casualties and start the occupation of Syria. Rebels have clear support from the westerners and Turkey-Qatar-Saudi Arabiya which makes the life and future of Syrian people a matter of dirty game. Vahhabies, Al-Qaida members and also paid terrorists are fighting in Syria under the name of official opposition!