US defence chief: Chemical weapons in Syria "would cross a red line"
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday repeated the US government's warning that the Syrian regime must refrain from using chemical weapons in an increasingly desperate fight against rebels, dpa reported.
"There will be consequences if the Assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons on their own people," Panetta said. "I'm not going to speculate or comment on what those potential consequences would be, but I think it's fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line for us."
He said that "the intelligence that we have raises serious concerns that this is being considered."
US President Barack Obama has made clear that the US will respond if Damascus resorts to its suspected stockpile of chemical weapons, which are being closely monitored by Western intelligence agencies.