US says intel on Syrian chemical weapons worrying

By REUTERS
December 6, 2012 19:57

 
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WASHINGTON - The United States has seen intelligence raising serious concerns that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government is considering using chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday without elaborating on the nature of that intelligence.

"I think there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned that as the opposition advances - in particular on Damascus - that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons," Panetta told reporters in Washington.

"The intelligence that we have raises serious concerns that this is being considered."

Several Western countries have issued coordinated warnings this week to Assad's government not to use chemical weapons, many citing secret intelligence that US officials have said showed Assad's government might be preparing to use poison gas.

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