Clinton warns 'desperate' Assad could use chemical weapons in Syria

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 04:50 hrs

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has expressed American concerns that an increasingly desperate Bashar al-Assad could resort to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, or lose control of them, according to a report.

After a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at which the Western military alliance agreed to send Patriot anti-missile batteries to Syria's neighbour, Turkey, Clinton said Washington had made clear to Syria that use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" for the United States.

"Our concerns are that an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons, or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating within Syria," The Telegraph quoted Clinton, as saying.

"And so as part of the absolute unity that we all have on this issue we have sent an unmistakable message that this would cross a red line and those responsible would be held to account," she added.

According to the paper, saying a political transition in Syria needed to start as soon as possible, Clinton claimed that the US would do what it could to support the Syrian opposition, now that a new opposition coalition has been formed.

The US and other countries would discuss at a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Marrakesh next week what more they could do to try to bring the Syrian conflict to an end, she further said.

"But that will require the Assad regime making the decision to participate in a political transition (and) ending the violence against its own people ... We hope that they do so because we believe ... that their fall is inevitable. It is just a question of how many people will die until that date occurs," she added. (ANI)

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