Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Turkey to get Patriot missiles

EXCLUSION ZONE:The NATO approval came amid reports that Syria is moving chemical weapons as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fights rebels seeking to oust him from power

AFP, BRUSSELS

Lavrov dismissed that point, saying the chemical weapons issue was overblown, while the Patriot deployment created “the risk that these arms will be used.”

It was not the first time there were such “rumors and leaks” about chemical weapons and they should “not be overstated,” Lavrov said, while reaffirming Moscow’s position that any use of chemical arms would be a violation of international treaties.

The Syrian government, fighting to prevent the capital Damascus from falling to rebel forces, has said it would never resort to chemical weapons.

On the ground on Tuesday, the Syrian army blasted a string of rebel zones on the eastern and southwestern outskirts of Damascus.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said “the army is trying at all costs to keep the rebels out of Damascus.”

“The rebels are pushing hard to enter into the city, but they have not been able to make the advance they are hoping for,” he added.

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