US has 'no reason to believe' Syrian rebels used WMD

WASHINGTON - The US State Departmenton Tuesday said it had no reason to believe Syrian governmentcharges that rebels had used chemical weapons in the country'scivil war, but said it was still studying allegations from theopposition that Syrian armed forces had used the weapons.

Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called the charges aneffort by Syrian President Bashar Assad's government todiscredit its opponents.

Nuland, portraying the Assad government as increasinglybeleaguered, said Washington is "quite concerned" that it wouldresort to non-conventional weapons.
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