World Bulletin / News Desk
Syria said on Monday it could use chemical weapons in response to any "external aggression" but they would not be used in President Bashar al-Assad's campaign to crush a 16-month-old uprising against his rule.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said any chemical or bacterial weapons were securely stored by the armed forces.
"The ministry wants to re-affirm the stance of the Syrian Arab Republic that any chemical or bacterial weapon will never be used - and I repeat will never be used - during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments," Makdissi said.
"These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression."
It appeared to be the first time that Syria acknowledged it might possess non-conventional weapons. Damascus is not a signatory to the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention that bans their use, production or stockpiling.
Makdissi raised the possibility that "terrorists groups" might be supplied with biological weapons by outside powers which "could be used in one of the villages - God forbid - and then they would accuse the Syrian forces".
He also said the security situation in Damascus, where Assad's forces have been battling rebels for more than a week, was improving and would return to normal within days.
He condemned calls for Assad to step down at a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Qatar over the weekend, calling it a "flagrant intervention" in Syria's internal affairs.
Mariam Koofi was shot in one of Kabul's upscale districts late on Tuesday after an argument with a member of the security forces, the interior ministry said in a statement. Her injury was not life threatening.
The lawsuit called for banning all Israeli activities in Egypt, shutting down the Israeli embassy and offices in Cairo, and designating Israel a "terrorist state."
In Lebanon, the post of president must be filled by a Maronite Christian for a term of six years, according to the country's national charter.
An Egyptian court sentenced 119 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood of former president Mohamed Mursi to three years each in prison
NATO fighter aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region, allied ships will deploy to the Baltic sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere
The men on top of the troop carriers were armed with Kalashnikov rifles, grenade launchers, knives and pistols Ukrainian city of Slaviansk. Dozens of masked pro-Russian separatists have seized control of the city hall in Donetsk demanding a referendum
One Afghan police officer and Hafiz Mahfuz, an important Taliban leader, have been killed in a gunfight during which four Taliban members were captured alive.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
St Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya was sanctioned alongside its chairman and largest shareholder Yuri Kovalchuk over Russia's annexation of Crimea.
"The Royal Airforce destroyed a number of military vehicles which tried to cross the Jordanian-Syrian border," state television said
Amnesty International report said Roma in France are often "forcibly evicted from their shelters, harassed by the police or other citizens and sometimes attacked".
Cabinet ministers have been asked to go out into Mogadishu's 16 districts to get closer to communities and rebuild trust in government in the hope the public will expose suspected rebels
On April 12, the pro-Russian Crimean parliament produced a new constitution officially declaring the peninsula as part of Russia following a referendum in mid-March, in which the vast majority of voters opted to join Russia. The 300,000 Turkic-speaking Muslim Crimean Tatars, who make up 13% of the Crimean population, for the most part boycotted the referendum as they deemed it illegal.
Only around one in 200 citizens files income tax, leaving the state begging foreign donors to help fund crumbling public schools and hospitals.
Kremlin-backed leaders nationalise Ukrainian state assets but secession causes chaos in banks, courts, business as Crimea sets Jan. 1 deadline to integrate with Russia
Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and 130 co-defendants are accused of involvement in a mass jailbreak during Egypt's 2011 uprising that led to the ouster of autocratic president Hosni Mubarak.