The Syrian regime should not even consider using its stockpile of chemical and biological weapons after Damascus warned it could use them against "external aggression," US officials said Monday.
"The Syrian regime is already responsible for unacceptable levels of deplorable violence against the Syrian population, and they should not think one iota about using chemical weapons," Pentagon spokesman George Little said, according to the Defence Department's official news service.
He said the mention of chemical weapons in the press by Syrian officials was of concern and that the US would "strongly object" to the thought of Syria deploying them.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described the use of chemical weapons as "completely unacceptable" and stressed that the US position on the matter was clear to President Bashar al-Assad's government.
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