Kerry says Syria's chemical weapons controlled by Assad, two others

LONDON Mon Sep 9, 2013 5:50am EDT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends a news conference with French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius at the Quai d'Orsay Ministry after their meeting in Paris September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends a news conference with French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius at the Quai d'Orsay Ministry after their meeting in Paris September 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the control of chemical weapons in Syria was limited to President Bashar al-Assad, his brother Maher and an unnamed general.

"The chemical weapons in Syria ... are controlled in very tight manner by the Assad regime. It is Bashar al-Assad, Maher al-Assad, his brother, and a general who are the three people who have control over the movement and use of chemical weapons," Kerry told a news briefing in London.

"But under any circumstances, the Assad regime is the Assad regime and the regime issues orders and we have high level regime (members) that have been caught giving these instructions and engaging in these preparations ..."

Maher is commander of Syria's Republican Guard and an elite armored division.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Stephen Addison)

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