- 27 updates
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:
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.
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.
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 given the go-ahead to deploy Patriot missiles to Turkey, an official has told news agency Reuters.
Latest ITV News reports
General Richard Myers has told ITV News that the real threat in Syria is from Islamist groups using chemical weapons - not President Assad.
NATO agrees to deploys Patriot missiles along the Syria/Turkey border but denies claims that it is taking an active role in the conflict.