UN concerned at possible Syria chemical weapons

By REUTERS
March 1, 2012 21:48

UNITED NATIONS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are concerned at the possibility that Syria may have chemical weapons, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

"On Syria, the Secretary-General and the Director-General noted with concern the reports on the possible existence of chemical weapons in the country," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters. "Those concerns are entirely understandable."

Top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that Syria is "very capable," with a sophisticated, integrated air defense system and chemical and biological weapons.

An 11-month government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters has left an estimated 7,500 civilians dead, according to the United Nations, and the outside world has proved powerless to halt the killing. Russia and China have twice used their vetoes to block any action by the UN Security Council.

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