NATO concerned by reports that Syria may use chemical arms

BRUSSELS Tue Dec 4, 2012 11:56pm IST

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen holds a news conference during a NATO foreign ministers at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen holds a news conference during a NATO foreign ministers at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels December 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO allies expressed "grave" concern on Tuesday about reports that the Syrian government may be preparing to use its chemical weapons, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

The military alliance agreed on Tuesday to deploy Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Turkey to protect it from any spillover of the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

"The NATO ministers unanimously expressed grave concern about reports that the Syrian regime may be considering the use of chemical weapons," Rasmussen told a news conference. "Any such action would be completely unacceptable and a clear reach of international law."

(Reporting by Justyna Pawlak, Adrian Croft and David Brunnstrom)

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