Monday 19 February 2018

Syria vows to fight using "all means available" if attacked by West

A Free Syrian Army fighter cleans his gun as a fellow fighter watches inside a room in Deir al-Zor August 26, 2013
A Free Syrian Army fighter cleans his gun as a fellow fighter watches inside a room in Deir al-Zor August 26, 2013

Syria's foreign minister says his country will defend itself using "all means available" in case of a US strike.

Walid al-Moallem says Syria has two choices, either to surrender or fight back, and it will choose the latter.

He declined to elaborate or say to what specific means he was referring.

Al-Moallem spoke at a press conference in the Syrian capital Damascus amid growing international support for military action against Syria in response to what US Secretary of State John Kerry said was "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical attack likely launched by Damascus.

Al-Moallem challenged anyone accusing the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons to provide proof.

The deputy foreign minister Faysal Mikdad earlier said an attack on Syria would trigger "chaos in the entire world".

"If individual countries want to pursue aggressive and adventurous policies, the natural answer ... would be that Syria, which has been fighting against terrorism for almost three years, will also defend itself against any international attack," he added.

Mr Kerry said chemical weapons were used in Syria and he accused Bashar Assad's regime of destroying evidence. He said the US had additional information about the attack and would make it public in the days ahead.

"The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and - despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured - it is undeniable," said Mr Kerry.

"This international norm cannot be violated without consequences."

Assad has denied launching a chemical attack, blaming the rebels instead, and has authorised a UN team of experts currently in Syria to investigate, although the US said it was a step that came "too late to be credible".

Syria accused Mr Kerry of lying by claiming there is "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Syria likely carried out by the regime.

A statement on the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency says Mr Kerry's insistence on "jumping over" the work of UN experts in Syria shows that the US has deliberate intentions to exploit events. The statement said Mr Kerry has "fabricated" evidence.

Press Association

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News