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.
Sierra Leone, the country worst-affected by the disease, has reported nearly 12,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths since the epidemic was declared a year ago.
"The Israeli occupation has agreed to extend a direct natural gas pipeline to operate Gaza's power plant," Haniyeh said in a Friday sermon delivered at a Gaza mosque.
The leading tribes in Yemen said on Friday that they backed a Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi.
Saad asserted that the army had sent reinforcements and was planning to send more troops to the restive area to secure the elections
An East Africa regional bloc on Friday signed two agreements with international partners to provide support for "drought resilience" activities.
Al-Shabab gunmen fought their way into a popular hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Friday, trapping government officials inside, police said. "Al Shabaab fighters are on the top of the building and inside the hotel," Major Ismail Olow , a police officer, told Reuters. "Some government officials are inside the hotel."
Digital magazine "Haqiqah" aims to combat Internet presence of extremist groups, such as Daesh.
"Internal and international flights heading to and from southern airports in the kingdom have gradually resumed since dawn Friday," Saudi's civil aviation authority said in a statement.
Iran and six powers demand mutual concessions in tense nuclear talks with end-March deadline for preliminary deal and full deal would follow by end of June.
Opposition forces also seize control of 15 regime security points and besiege central area of Idlib, opposition officials say.
Output rose threefold since 2010 with exports go to 60 countries, including U.S, Saudi Arabia
"We are hoping the decision would lead to more stable relations with Egypt," Abu Zuhri told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is opposed a two-stage agreement in the ongoing nuclear negotiation with the US and EU representatives, rejecting a US daily claim to the contrary, said an Iranian source close to the negotiation team in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The group that began in Germany who started in Montreal 3 months ago have organised a walk in Montreal this weekend. Many are against the group with an anti-PEGIDA protest set to take place at the same time and place as the PEGIDA demonstration, on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The Nigerian army said it destroyed the headquarters of Boko Haram after capturing the northeastern town of Gwoza from the nsurgent group.
Morocco has had F-16 warplanes stationed in the United Arab Emirates since it began taking part in coalition air strikes on militants in Iraq and Syria.