Damascus, 27 August, 2013 (AKI)
The Syrian government has proof that rebel fighters used chemical weapons against civilians, foreign minister Walid al-Muallim said in Damascus on Tuesday.
“We have proof that armed groups [rebel forces] deployed chemical agents, and we will reveal this at an opportune moment,” he told a press conference.
Al-Muallim denied “utterly and completely” that the Syrian army used chemical weapons against opponents of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.
Syria was ready to defend itself “using every means” should it come under military attack, he stated.
An intervention by western military powers “would play into the hands of Israel and Al-Qaeda,” al-Muallim added.
The United States and Britain are considering launching strikes on Syria in response to the deadly rocket attacks in several Damascus suburbs on 21 August killed over 300 and injured thousands.
The US claims there is “undeniable” proof that poison gas was used in the attacks.
The Arab League said it held al-Assad responsible for the attacks and called for UN action.
Over 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against the authoritarian Assad began more than two years ago. The conflict has produced more than 1.7 million registered refugees.