'Syria govt not driven to wall' to use chemical weapons -- Lavrov
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has insisted there is no sense in the Syrian regime using chemical weapons against the rebels, an accusation thrown at the leadership by the international community.
"The government, as the opposition is saying openly, is enjoying military success on the ground," Lavrov indicated to reporters during a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino.
"The regime isn't driven to the wall. What sense is there for the regime to use chemical arms -- especially in such small amounts?" Lavrov asked adding that the data provided by the US showed that 100 to 150 people suffered from the alleged chemical attacks.
Lavrov underlined that any rumors of chemical weapons deployment concern Russia, and Moscow always seeks to check and recheck them.
On June 13, the US stated it assessed that chemical weapons, most likely the nerve gas sarin, were used in battle against the Syrian rebels. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday the assessment results had been handed over to them, but it found them "fabricated" and "unconvincing".
Following the chemical weapons statement the US decided to directly arm the rebels "to strengthen their effectiveness," the White House said. The new aid will be "military" in nature, but was not detailed.