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PM: Syria will become 'graveyard of invaders'

Aug. 28, 2013 7:48 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2013 11:19 A.M.)
DAMASCUS (AFP) -- Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said Wednesday that Syria will turn into a "graveyard of the invaders" in case of foreign military intervention and accused the West of inventing pretexts to attack.

Syria will "surprise the aggressors as it surprised them in" the 1973 Yom Kippur war, when Arab forces caught Israel off guard, and become "the graveyard of the invaders," he said.

The "colonialist threats" of Western powers "do not terrorize us because of the will and determination of the Syrian people, who will not accept being humiliated," Halqi said, quoted on state television.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad, meanwhile, said the West had pushed anti-regime rebels to use poison gas, while blaming it on the government, as a pretext for a Western intervention.

"The terrorist groups used sarin gas in several areas of the country... with the encouragement of the Americans, the British and French," he told reporters.

"The encouragement of these Western countries must stop because by defending these terrorists... these groups will soon turn their chemical arms against the people of Europe."

Muqdad was speaking after a meeting with UN disarmament envoy Angela Kane, the leader of a team of UN weapons inspectors that has been in Syria since August 18.

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari, told the state news agency SANA that rebels had used chemical arms to provoke a Western intervention.

And Halqi accused the West of "inventing" excuses for military action against Syria over deadly chemical weapons attacks last week, for which the rebels and regime have traded blame.

"Western countries, starting with the United States, are inventing fake scenarios and fictitious alibis to intervene militarily in Syria," the premier said.

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