Syria may only use chemical weapons against external aggression, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said on Monday.
"Syria may use chemical weapons only in case of foreign aggression," according to a Foreign Ministry statement read by Makdissi during a press conference in the Syrian capital Damascus.
Syria will never use chemical weapons against civilians, he added, stressing that the weapon stocks are secure.
There has been considerable concern that Syria’s chemical weapons could fall into hostile hands, in particular insurgents fighting the government, or be used by to defend the regime.
According to Globalsecurity.org, the Syrian arsenal is said to consist mostly of large amounts of Sarin in addition to tabun (nerve agents), with mustard gas, and the country is reportedly producing and preparing VX for weapons. Exact volumes of chemical weapons in the Syrian stockpile are difficult to know.
The CIA has estimated Syria to possess several hundred liters of chemical weapons with hundreds of tons of agents produced annually.