U.S. dodges questions on Syria chemical weapons
Syrian government troops take position in a heavily damaged area in the old city of Aleppo. (AFP PHOTO/STR)
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A U.S. spokesperson appeared to dismiss reports that his government was aware of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The announcement followed reports of an alleged government cable, leaked to Foreign Policy Magazine, suggesting that the U.S. knew of President Assad's forces using poison gas on its people in the city of Homs.
"The reporting we have seen from media sources regarding alleged chemical weapons incidents in Syria has not been consistent with what we believe to be true about the Syrian chemical weapons program," White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement, issued on Tuesday.
The U.S. has previously stated, along with many other countries, that they would be forced to intervene in the Syrian conflict if chemical weapons were involved. So far, there has been no official confirmation that chemical weapons have been used although many anti-regime activists say they are in operation.
The cable, detailing the use of "Agent 15" in Homs on December 23, was allegedly signed by the U.S. consul general in Istanbul and was addressed to State Department headquarters.