Chemical weapons 'under direct supervision' of Syrian military

Syria has acknowledged for the first time that it had chemical and biological weapons, saying they could be used if the country faced foreign intervention.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the army would not use chemical weapons to crush rebels but they could be used against forces from outside the country:

Any chemical or bacterial weapons will never be used ... during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments.

These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression.

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Syria retracts weapons threat

Syria has said an earlier foreign ministry statement that it would use chemical weapons against foreign forces was "misconstrued and taken out of context". Britain had earlier said the threat from Damascus is "unacceptable"