Kerry: NATO should prepare for Syrian use of chemical weapons


Associated Press

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 23 at 7:34 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is urging NATO to be ready for the possible use of chemical weapons by Syria.

Attending his first meeting of the alliance's governing body today in Brussels, Kerry called for NATO members to increase their assistance to the Syrian opposition.

Earlier today, an Israeli general said Israel believes the Bashar Assad regime has already used chemical weapons in the conflict.

Kerry told the alliance that contingency plans should be put in place to guard against the threat of a chemical weapons strike. Turkey, a NATO ally, borders Syria, and would be most at risk from such an attack.

NATO has already deployed Patriot missile batteries in Turkey.

Speaking after today's meeting, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen (AHN'-derz fohg RAHS'-moo-sihn) said the alliance is "extremely concerned" about the use of ballistic missiles in Syria and "the possible use of chemical weapons." But he noted that NATO hasn't yet been asked to intervene.

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GRAPHICSBANK: John Kerry, as US Secretary of State, arrives at NATO headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, graphic element on gray (23 Apr 2013)

APPHOTO BELEV115: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, hands a folder to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before the start of the NATO- Russia Council meeting at NATO headquarters on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Brussels, Belgium. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool) (23 Apr 2013)

<<APPHOTO BELEV115 (04/23/13)>>