With reports that babies and children have been tortured, and the recent news of massacres, it might be thought that the violence in Syria could not get worse but now the threat of chemical weapons lingers.
President Assad has said that they would not be used against his own people. However, the Assad regime has talked about the possibility of using them against foreign invaders.
Speaking at a press gaggle on 23 July, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the possibility of chemical weapons being used. He said that they believed chemical weapons were under the control of the Syrian government and that “We have made clear to the Syrian government that it is their responsibility to keep control of those weapons and that they will be held accountable, both collectively and individually, if those weapons were to fall out of their control or in any way be used.”
At a press conference in Serbia the issue of Syria and chemical weapons was again raised. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it had not confirmed “that it is true that Syria has a considerable amount of chemical weapons”. The Secretary-General then went on to describe the possibility of chemical weapons being used as “reprehensible”.
In the meanwhile, as the conflict goes on, the diplomacy continues and governments – including the United States – remain hopeful of a diplomatic solution to the 16-month battle for Syria.