Intel sparks new US warning on Syria chem weapons
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) has intelligence which raises "serious concerns" that Syria is considering employing chemical weapons in its war with rebel forces, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday.
"Without commenting on the specific intelligence that we have with regards to these chemical weapons, I think there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned, that, as the opposition advances, in particular in Damascus, that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons," Mr Panetta told reporters.
"The intelligence that we have raises serious concerns that this is being considered," he said.
US officials said privately this week that the Syrian regime has begun mixing precursor chemicals that could be used for sarin, a lethal nerve agent, and some media reports said the substance was loaded into bombs for warplanes.