The impact of possible chemical weapons in Syria on aid efforts would be difficult to anticipate, the International Red Cross said at a conference in the Switzerland headquarters.
Officials said it would attempt to continue humanitarian operations in Syria in the event of chemical weapons being used. Syria have denied that it would use chemical weapons. President Peter Maurer told reporters:
Our general assessment is that the conflict is expanding, that the ability to reach populations is not following at the same pace as the expanding conflict.
So we have an increasing gap between needs emerging and abilities to cover those needs, but we, despite all the difficulties, we keep up an important humanitarian activities in Syria.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has written to Syrian president Bashar al Assad, urging him not to use chemical weapons in the country's escalating conflict, the UN press office said today.
According to the statement, the UN chief told the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmet Uzumcu that "any use of such weapons would be an outrageous crime with dire consequences."
The US is ready to launch military action in Syria "within days" if President Assad mobilises chemical weapons to use against rebel forces, The Times reports (£).
A US official told the newspaper: "It won’t require major movement to make action happen. The muscle is already there to be flexed.
“It’s premature to say what could happen if a decision is made to intervene. That hasn’t taken shape, we’ve not reached that kind of decision. There are a lot of options, but it [military action] could be launched rapidly, within days.”
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has issued a warning to NATO that the deployment of Patriot missiles on the Turkish border with Syria risks escalating the conflict.
– Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister
We were saying the stockpiling of armament is always creating a risk that these armaments will be used.
The use and application of their weapon of mass destruction have grave implications and we don't accept any violation of international laws, international treaties.
It is not the first time that such messages appear. We can call them rumours, we can call them leakage, that Syrian authorities are moving the stockpile of chemical weapons or that they want to use those weapons.
The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the organisation hopes that by deploying Patriot missiles on the Turkish border with Syria they can deter the Assad regime. He also said that ministers were very concerned about reports that the Syrian Govenment may use chemical weapons.
– ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL,
Actually I do believe that a deployment of Patriot missiles will serve as an effective deterrent and that way de-escalate the situation along the Syrian-Turkish border because the mere fact that the missiles, the Patriot missiles have been deployed make it necessary for any potential aggressor to, to think twice before they could even consider attacking Turkey
NATO gave the go-ahead on Tuesday for the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Turkey to protect it from any spill over of the civil war in neighbouring Syria, a NATO official said. Russia, Syria and Iran had criticised the request to the alliance. A NATO official said:
NATO has agreed to augment Turkey's air-defence capabilities by deploying Patriot missiles to Turkey.
NATO has given the go-ahead to deploy Patriot missiles to Turkey, an official has told news agency Reuters.