In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo, a Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon during clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria.

Narciso Contreras, Associated Press

This Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo, shows a teddy bear among rubble from damaged buildings due to fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government forces in Aleppo, Syria.

Narciso Contreras, Associated Press - Ap

Obama warns Syria against using chemical weapons

  • Associated Press
  • December 4, 2012 - 10:00 AM

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama warned Syria on Monday that the use of chemical weapons would be "totally unacceptable" and that the country's leaders would be held accountable.

Obama said that if Syrian President Bashar Assad made the "tragic mistake" of deploying chemical weapons, there would be consequences. Obama stopped short of detailing those consequences.

Obama's comments came as U.S. officials said intelligence had detected Syrian movement of chemical weapons components in recent days.

The White House said earlier Monday that it was increasingly concerned that the beleaguered regime in Syria might be considering use of chemical weapons against its own people and warned that doing so would "cross a red line."

White House press secretary Jay Carney said U.S. officials were closely monitoring Syria's proliferation of sensitive materials and facilities, as opposition to the Syrian government grows.

Obama spoke later Monday at a gathering on securing nuclear weapons materials.

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