BRUSSELS Dec 5 The United States is worried
that an increasingly desperate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
could resort to the use of chemical weapons, or lose control of
them, U.S. 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 neighbour, 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
Saying a political transition in Syria needed to start as
soon as possible, Clinton said the United States would do what
it could to support the Syrian opposition, now that a new
opposition coalition has been formed.
The United States and other countries would discuss at a
meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Marrakech next week
what more they could do to try to bring the Syrian conflict to
an end, she said.
"But that will require the Assad regime making the decision
to participate in a political transition (and) ending the
violence against its own people ... We hope that they do so
because we believe ... that their fall is inevitable. It is just
a question of how many people will die until that date occurs,"