Syrian army finds chemical agents as US navy expands presence in region. Syrian army soldiers have found chemical agents when they entered rebel tunnels in Damascus suburb of Jobar, Syrian TV reports, adding that some of them started suffocating. The US Navy’s expanding its presence in the Mediterranean with a 4th cruise-missile armed warship. The move’s a response to the escalating conflict in Syria. For more on this RT is joined by Paula Slier.
Syrian rebels have used chemical weapons against regime forces in the Damascus suburb of Jobar, where soldiers discovered stockpiles of toxic poisoning antidotes, state media reports.
According to SANA citing “an official source” suffocation cases among army soldiers have been reported.
The source told the agency that army unit pushed into the area, where soldiers were attacked, and seized a warehouse containing material labeled ‘Made in KSA’ as well as a large number of protective masks.
In addition, the army discovered a stockpile of chemical poisoning antidotes with ‘The Qatari-German Company for Pharmaceutical Industries’ label on them.
Clashes have been reported between rebels and regime forces in Jobar.
Rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad accuse government forces of attacking people in the Damascus suburbs with toxic gas on Wednesday.
The ruling regime has dismissed the accusations.
However, some Western powers suspect Assad’s forces to be behind the attack that the opposition claims killed anywhere between ‘dozens’ to ‘1,300’.
France says all indications show that Syrian army troops are responsible for what it called a “chemical massacre”.
“All the information at our disposal converges to indicate that there was a chemical massacre near Damascus and that the Bashar regime is responsible,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Saturday.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has suggested that “the Assad regime has something to hide” as the UN team, which is “20 minutes away” from the site of the recent attack, “have not been able to” go there and investigate.
“Why else have they not allowed the UN team to go there?” Hague said.
The US and European security sources have made a preliminary assessment that the Syrian government used chemical weapon, but still said they are seeking conclusive proof, which could take days, weeks or longer to gather.
The White House said on Saturday that a ‘range of options’ is available on Syria if it’s proven that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons