The Syrian government said on Monday it would use its chemical and biological arms if it were attacked by a foreign government, the Associated Press reported, but said it would not use them against its own people.
The announcement was the first-ever admission by the government that it possesses such weapons – though it was widely assumed to have one of the biggest stockpiles in the Middle East.
"No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used, during the crisis in Syria no matter what the developments inside Syria," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said on Syrian state television on Monday, according to the AP. "All of these types of weapons are in storage and under security and the direct supervision of the Syrian armed forces and will never be used unless Syria is exposed to external aggression."
Syria is believed to have nerve agents as well as mustard gas and missiles capable of delivering the chemicals.