Reuters in Beirut

Western powers are whipping up fears of a fateful move to the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war as a “pretext for intervention”, President Bashar al-Assad’s deputy foreign minister said on Thursday.


Syrian government forces bombarded rebel districts near Damascus on Tuesday in a counter-attack to stem rebel gains around President Bashar al-Assad’s power base.

Nato told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday that any use of chemical weapons in his fight against rebel forces would be met by an swift international response.

Syrian air force jets bombarded rebel targets on Friday close to the Damascus airport road and a regional airline said the violence had halted international flights to the capital.

A huge car bomb exploded in central Beirut during rush hour on Friday killing a top security official and seven others, wounded about 80 and heightened fears that Syria’s war is aggravating tensions in Lebanon.

Two loud explosions targeted one of Syria’s top military command buildings in the capital Damascus on Wednesday, engulfing the building in flames, state media said.

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