- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
- Muslims offended that 9/11 museum movie speaks of jihad
- Obama marks Armenian massacre, avoids using the word ‘genocide’
- Gov. Rick Perry: ‘It’s not a dare, it’s a promise’; Texas will fight BLM
Syrian rebels create new unified military command
Separately, the Syrian regime reiterated its insistence that it would not use chemical weapons “if it has them under any circumstances because it is defending its people,” according to the letter sent to the U.N. It was carried by the state-run news agency, SANA.
Syria has never confirmed it has chemical weapons. But it is believed to possess substantial stockpiles of mustard gas and a range of nerve agents, including sarin, a highly toxic substance that can suffocate its victims by paralyzing muscles around their lungs.
No rebels are known to have access to these weapons and it is highly unlikely that they know how to operate them.
But the foreign ministry claimed “terrorist groups” — the term it uses for the rebels — recently captured a chlorine plant and warned they “might resort to the use of chemical weapons against Syrians.”
The claim could not be independently verified. The opposition has not commented on the report.
In the Gulf nation of Bahrain, British Foreign Secretary William told a security conference that he had seen “some evidence” that Syria is preparing to use chemical weapons against rebels.”
The Foreign Secretary declined to give details of the intelligence, but again warned Assad’s regime would face action if they were deployed.
Asked about Syrian chemical weapons, he said “we do have contingency plan on this I am sorry I am not going on details.”
Also Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels and troops continued fighting around the Damascus International Airport, south of the capital. The battle around the airport began last week.
State-run Syrian TV said Assad’s army is “continuing its operations” in the suburbs of Damascus and killed a number of “terrorists.”
In the north, a Syrian jet bombed the town of Tal Abyad near the border with Turkey, and rebels responded with anti-aircraft fire, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported. A plume of smoke could be seen rising from Tal Abyad, it said. No casualties were reported.
Residents at the Turkish border town of Akcakale were told to keep away from the frontier region. On Oct. 3, a shell from the fighting struck a house in the town, killing five people and prompting Turkey to launch retaliatory strikes at Syria.
Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser contributed to this report from Ankara, Turkey.
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Rand Paul: Bundy's racist remarks are 'offensive'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014