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Report: Syria may have used banned weapons

Dec. 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Evidence broadcast by Syrian opposition figures suggests the regime may have used weapons that could have contained chemical components, a report stated.

Arab broadcaster al-Arabiya, a news agency owned by Saudi royals, reported that it reviewed video evidence said to be from Syrian opposition groups that suggests rebels had captured equipment that could be used to protect against a chemical attack. A separate video was said to have depicted a bomb site that was releasing a "toxic substance."

There's no way to independently verify the claims. The Arab broadcaster earlier reported that Syrian rebel groups were distributing information to residents advising them how to protect themselves in the event of a chemical weapons attack.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague last week told the BBC there was "enough evidence" to suggest Syria is preparing to deploy chemical weapons "that they need a warning."

Support for an opposition council formed in Qatar has gained momentum as the civil war in Syria descends on Damascus. The Syrian government said recently it wouldn't use such weapons "under any circumstances," the BBC said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon wrote to Syrian President Bashar Assad calling on him to refrain from using such weapons, his spokesman said. Any such deployment, he added, would be considered "an outrageous crime" that would be met "with dire consequences."

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