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Syrian official: US is exploiting issue of chemical weapons to justify military intervention

A senior Damascus official is accusing the United States and Europe of using the issue of chemical weapons to justify a future military intervention against Syria.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned on Thursday that any such intervention would be "catastrophic."

Washington is concerned that an increasingly desperate regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad could turn to its stockpile of chemical weapons or lose control of them to militant groups.

Syria has been careful not to confirm it has chemical weapons while insisting it would never use such weapons against its own people.

Mekdad says Syria would never use chemical weapons — even if it had them — against its own people, calling it "suicide." He spoke in an interview with Lebanon's Al Manar TV.