Syria warns US intervention could 'inflame the Middle East'
Syrian authorities on Sunday warned the United States against any military intervention over a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, saying it would "inflame the Middle East".
US President Barack Obama and top military and security advisers have met to hash out the options for a potential response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria amid what Britain called "increasing signs" that the Syrian government was culpable for Wednesday's nerve gas attack on civilians in a rebel-dominated suburb of Damascus.
Syrian President Bashar Assad's government has accused the opposition of using the chemical weapons against its own supporters "as a last resort" to try to provoke a foreign intervention that supports their cause, Reuters reported.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi told the Syrian state news agency SANA that any US-driven military intervention or action would be "no picnic".
"US military intervention will create a very serious fallout and a ball of fire that will inflame the Middle East," Zoabi told SANA, Reuters reported.
The minister also suggested that U.N. inspectors would not be given permission to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack as it was not part of the agreed list of locations where opposition activists say forces loyal to Assad used chemical weapons. Syrian authorities have denied any use of poisonous gas in the increasingly violent sectarian conflict.
Zoabi said Damascus would cooperate "significantly and transparently" with U.N. investigations but not allow any "inspection that will prejudice national sovereignty", Reuters reported.
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