* Rebels, Syrian government blame each other for gas attacks
* Saudi FM: Assad must give up use of force to quell revolt
* Analyst: Chlorine gas readily available in Syria
RIYADH, April 15 Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister
Prince Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday said the "grave news" that
President Bashar al-Assad's forces had carried out two poison
gas attacks last week was a challenge to "international will".
Rebels and the Syrian government have blamed each other for
the alleged poison gas attacks on Friday and Saturday on
rebel-held Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama.
Both sides said chlorine gas had been used.
"These continuous violations by the Damascus regime require
the international community to take firm action against the
continuous defiance of international, Arab and Islamic will,"
Prince Saud said at a news conference in Riyadh.
The reported gas attacks posed a clear challenge to the
Security Council decision to dismantle Assad's chemical arsenal,
Saudi Arabia is a leading backer of rebels fighting against
Assad, who is a close ally of the kingdom's main rival Shi'ite
power Iran. It has supplied rebels with training, weapons and
cash and worked to mobilise international support for them.
Asked about the possibility of supplying anti-aircraft
weapons to the rebels, Prince Saud said that it was necessary to
change the balance of military power on the ground in Syria but
did not give further details.
"The only way the regime would listen to calls for peace is
if he (Assad) is forced to agree that we cannot reach a military
solution for his desire to quell the revolution," he said.
Chlorine gas, a deadly agent widely used in World War I, has
industrial uses and is not on a list of chemical weapons that
Assad declared to the global chemical weapons watchdog last year
"Chlorine was not part of the declared stockpile but
chlorine is a chemical weapon under the chemical weapon
convention," said Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, CEO of SecureBio, a
U.K.-based consultancy firm.
De Bretton-Gordon said that while chlorine gas was readily
available in Syria, the attacks consisted of chlorine containers
being dropped from helicopters.
"As far as I am aware, the opposition does not have
helicopters," he said.
(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Additional reporting by Rania El
Gamal in Dubai and Oliver Holmes in Beirut; Editing by Raissa