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Syria says it could be scapegoat of chemical weapon use

Last updated 07:02 18/12/2012

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Middle East

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Syria's UN ambassador is warning that extremist groups could use chemical weapons against the Syrian people and blame the government.

Bashar Ja'afari reiterated in letters to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, circulated on Monday (local time), that "Syria will not under any circumstances use any chemical weapons that it may have".

But Ja'afari said the government - which refers to opposition fighters as "terrorists" - is "genuinely worried" that countries supporting "terrorism and terrorists" could provide chemical weapons to armed groups "and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government".

He quoted a report in the Turkish newspaper Yurt that al Qaeda members are producing chemical weapons in a laboratory near the Turkish city of Gaziantep "that they are threatening to use against Syrian civilians."

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- AP

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