Syria rejects AL offer, vows not to use chemical arms
Syria on Monday rejected the latest offer by the Arab League for President Assad to leave the country. After a meeting in Doha, the Arab League members called on the Syrian president to handover powers in exchange for a "safe" exit for himself and his family. "If the countries of the Arab League sincerely wanted to stop the bloodshed, they would stop supplying arms [to the rebels]," said the spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Syrian regime will use its chemical weapons arsenal in the event of a foreign "aggression", warned spokesman. "No chemical or unconventional weapons will be used against our own citizens (...), these weapons will be used in case of foreign aggression," said ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdessi, during a press conference in Damascus.
"They will never, ever, be used against our citizens, whatever the evolution of the crisis," he added. "These different weapons are stored and secured under the supervision of the armed forces and will only be used if Syria is facing external aggression," repeated the spokesman, noting that a "general will decide when and how these weapons will be used ".
Makdessi also accused the West of organizing a "campaign to justify military intervention by lying about weapons of mass destruction".
The Syrian authorities warn against "the possibility that foreign parties will be arming terrorist groups (...) with bacteriological bombs that explode in a village and later Syrian forces will be charged".
On Sunday, the White House had warned Damascus about its arsenal of chemical weapons, saying that members of the regime of Bashar al-Assad should be held accountable if they do not ensure its safety.
Israel has also expressed concern and warned that it could not "accept" that chemical weapons will be falling into the hands of Lebanon's Hizbullah movement.
Regarding the country's border crossings, which some of them fell to the hands of the rebels, Damascus said that the army would soon regain control. "Two border posts are now out of (the regime's) control. But they are closed since June, and it's easy to send some armed men to seize it," said Mr. Makdessi. He assured that the rebels "did not maintain it and they will be gone in a few days".
- Defected Syrian general says country's chemical arsenal matches Israel's nuclear store
- Israel concerned that Assad will use chemical weapons soon
- Clashes in Damascus as former envoy warns of chemical arms use
- Arab countries offer Assad "safe" exit
- Army vows to stop militants using Lebanon as “safe haven”