UK says Syrian government use of chemical weapons ‘very likely’

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Britain said on Thursday it believed it was “very likely” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons but has no evidence if Syrian opposition fighters had used such arms, according to Reuters.

“Our assessment is that chemical weapons use in Syria is very likely to have been initiated by the regime,” said a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron as quoted by Reuters.

“We have no evidence to date of opposition use,” he said.

The British statement comes as Turkey sent a team to the borders with Syria to test wounded victims of the country’s civil war for traces of chemical and biological weapons.

State-run Anatolian news agency said on Thursday the team of eight experts started testing blood samples last week from Syrian casualties brought over the border for treatment to determine whether they were victims of a chemical weapons attack.

The civil defense team, equipped with a specialist vehicle which can detect evidence of chemical, biological and nuclear substances, has been stationed at the Cilvegozu border gate near the town of Reyhanli, Anatolian said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and opposing rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons.

Washington has long said it views the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a “red line”. But, wary of the false intelligence that was used to justify the 2003 war in Iraq, the United States says it wants proof before taking any action.

Fighting in Syria, now entering its third year, has intensified in the last month with government forces attempting to roll back rebel advances. Some 70,000 people have now been killed in the civil war.

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