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Clinton: 'Desperate' Assad could resort to chemical weapons

Dec. 5, 2012 3:59 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 5, 2012 3:59 P.M.)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- The United States is worried that an increasingly desperate Syrian President Bashar Assad could resort to the use of chemical weapons, or lose control of them, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.

After a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at which the Western military alliance agreed to send Patriot anti-missile batteries to Syria's neighbor, Turkey, Clinton said Washington had made clear to Syria that use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" for the United States.

"Our concerns are that an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons, or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating within Syria," Clinton told a news conference.

"And so as part of the absolute unity that we all have on this issue we have sent an unmistakable message that this would cross a red line and those responsible would be held to account."
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