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Syria warns that opposition could use chemical weapons against civilians and blame government

Syria's U.N. ambassador is warning that extremist groups could use chemical weapons against the Syrian people and blame the government.

Bashar Ja'afari reiterated in letters to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, circulated Monday, that "Syria will not under any circumstances use any chemical weapons that it may have."

But Ja'afari said the government — which refers to opposition fighters as "terrorists" — is "genuinely worried" that countries supporting "terrorism and terrorists" could provide chemical weapons to armed groups "and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government."

He quoted a report in the Turkish newspaper Yurt that al-Qaida members are producing chemical weapons in a laboratory near the Turkish city of Gaziantep "that they are threating to use against Syrian civilians."