Tests on Syrian war casualties arriving in Turkey indicate chemical weapons have been used by Syrian forces, and further tests are being carried out to verify the evidence, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday.
"We have been making tests and we have some indications regarding chemical weapons being used, but in order to make sure and verify we are continuing these tests and will be sharing these tests with UN agencies," he said in Amman.
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Turkey confirmed last week that it had begun testing blood samples taken from Syrian casualties brought over its border for treatment to determine whether they were victims of chemical weapons.
Treating child, allegedly hurt by chemical weapons
Davutoglu said the prospect of Syrian President Bashar Assad using chemical weapons had long been a real concern for his country and added that it was not a secret Damascus had stockpiles and had never
signed international accords banning the use of such weapons.
"We know the Syrian regime has stocks ... And everybody knows the Syrian regime has this capacity," Davutoglu said.
Man allegedly hurt by chemical weapons
"Of course this has been one of our major concerns because chemical weapons are a threat against humanity and a crime."
US State Secretary John Kerry said in an internet chat with citizens that the US has conclusive evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his countrymen. President Obama has also mentioned recently that Washington has evidence of chemical weapons' use by Assad's regime and said he views their use in Syria
as a "red line."
Man foaming from mouth, which could be from chemical weapons (Photo: AP)
"It is clear that the regime has used chemical weapons and missiles. They used about 200 missiles, according to our intelligence," Erdogan said in the interview with the US television news outlet.
The Turkish leader did not make clear whether Turkey believed that all 200 missiles carried chemical weapons and said his government had not determined whether sarin gas was used.
Assad's forces and opposing rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons. Erdogan told NBC he doubted Assad's opponents have used such weapons because they lacked access to them.
Turkey's state-run Anatolian news agency said earlier on Thursday that the country has sent eight experts to the border with Syria to test wounded victims of the country's civil war for traces of chemical and biological weapons.
At the same time, Twenty-five people were killed in army shelling in the central Syrian town of Halfayeh on Friday after a months-old local truce between the army and rebel fighters broke down, opposition activists said.
Halfayeh has been in rebel hands for more than five months and a truce was agreed there between the warring parties in an attempt to protect thousands of citizens, an activist from the region who called himself Safi al-Hamawi said.
But Assad's forces issued an ultimatum to the town's elders saying the rebels must leave by Thursday evening and started shelling it heavily as the deadline passed, Hamawi said.
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