Syria: Chemical weapons only for foreign attack

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In this citizen journalism image taken on Monday, July 16, 2012 and provided by Edlib News Network ENN, a Syrian girl holds a poster with Arabic that reads, "greetings from Kfarnebel's children to the Free Syrian Army soldiers in Damascus," during a demonstration in Kfarnebel, Idlib province, northern Syria. Syrian rebels have launched an offensive to "liberate" the country's largest city of Aleppo, an opposition commander said Sunday, while in Damascus government troops backed by helicopter gunships wrested back control of rebel-held neighborhoods. (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS HANDOUT PHOTO

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi says the country's chemical weapons stocks are secure and would only be used in the case of a foreign attack.

There has been widespread concern that Syria's stocks of chemical weapons could fall into the hands of the rebels fighting the government, some of whom are believed to have links to al-Qaida.

There was also concern the weapons might be used to defend the regime.

Makdissi said in a news conference Monday broadcast on state television that the weapons are under the protection of the Syrian army and would never be used "inside Syria."