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Use of chemical weapons in Syria is "political suicide", says Russia

February 17, 2014 at 1:50 am

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that if the Syrian army uses chemical weapons against rebels it will be “political suicide”. However, he pointed out that the movement of the weapons by the army is being done merely to keep them out of rebel hands. Syria’s President Bashar al-Asad has no plans to leave Syria or to use chemical weapons, claimed Lavrov.

Flying back to Moscow from an EU-Russia summit, Lavrov told journalists, “According to the information we have, as well as the data of the US and European special services, the [Syrian] government is doing everything to secure its chemical stockpiles.”

The regime in Damascus, he said, has concentrated its chemical weapons in one or two centres, whereas in the past they were scattered across the country. According to Lavrov, the “biggest threat” from Syria’s chemical weapons would be if militants managed to capture them.

Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama warned Al-Asad against using chemical weapons against his own people. Obama said that their use would be “totally unacceptable” and Al-Assad would face “consequences” if they are used.

BBC reports, meanwhile, claim that the chairman of the US House Committee on Intelligence, Mike Rogers, said that a regional plan is needed to secure the weapons immediately. “If not, we are going to have a very major destabilising event in the region.”

The situation of the Syrian regime is going from bad to worse day to day and there are fears that it might use the chemical weapons as a last resort if the president feels that he is in grave danger.