WASHINGTON Dec 12 Forces loyal to Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad have fired Scud missiles at rebels
trying to overthrow Syria's government, a senior U.S. official
said on Wednesday.
Use of the missiles was seen as escalation in Assad's
attempt to retain power.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
confirmed the use of Scuds.
In Brussels, a NATO official also said on Wednesday that a
number of short-range ballistic missiles have been launched
inside Syria this week.
"Allied intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets
have detected the launch of a number of unguided, short-range
ballistic missiles inside Syria this week. ... Trajectory and
distance traveled indicate they were Scud-type missiles," the
NATO official said.
Speaking separately, U.S. State Department spokeswoman
Victoria Nuland, while not confirming the use of Scuds, said the
United States has seen the use of incendiary barrel bombs in
"As the regime becomes more and more desperate, we see it
resorting to increased lethality and more vicious weapons moving
forward," she told a State Department briefing.