Aug 27 2013, 8:34am CDT | by IANS
Damascus/London, Aug 27 — Syria Tuesday challenged Western nations to provide evidence on the involvement of Syrian troops in chemical weapons use even as Britain's armed forces started working on contingency plans in case of military action in the Middle Eastern country.
Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem said at a press conference in Damascus Tuesday that his government has interest in revealing the reality of the chemical attack that supposedly took place in Damascus's countryside, stressing that the Syrian government has lived up to its part of the deal with the UN but the rebels hindered the mission of the UN inspectors, Xinhua reported.
The Syrian opposition claimed that some 1,300 people were killed in a chemical weapon attack carried out by the government army on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on Aug 21. The Syrian government strongly denied the accusation.
"Syria has evidences about the alleged chemical incident in the countryside of Damascus and will present it in due time," Al-Moallem stressed at the press conference.
Regarding a possible US military attack on Syria, the Syrian top diplomat said that any possible military strike would not affect the government troops' advancement against the rebels.
"Syria will defend itself with all available means if the US decides to attack the country," he stressed.
Meanwhile, Britain's armed forces are working on contingency plans for military action as a response to "the chemical weapons attack" in Syria, Xinhua cited British media, which quoted British Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman as saying Tuesday.
Claiming "unacceptable" of "any use of chemical weapons" in Syria, the spokesman urged the international community to respond to that.
Cameron will continue talks with international leaders to agree a "proportionate response" that will "deter" Bashar Assad's regime from using toxic agents on the Syrian population, 10 Downing Street said.
Number 10 indicated that a decision could be taken before the results of a report by UN weapons inspectors into the attack, Sky News reported.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague has already said the West could act on Syria even without full UN Security Council backing.
In another development, Iran Tuesday reiterated that no authorisation by the UN Security Council has been issued for military intervention in Syria.
"Our region is in a very sensitive situation and it needs tranquillity more than ever. Therefore, political solutions are required for the problems," Xinhua quoted Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi as saying.
Iran "strongly" warned Monday against any foreign military strike on Syria, following allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the citizens.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army continued advancing against the rebels in the countryside of Damascus, mainly in Jobar and Muadaieh, Xinhua cited pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV as saying.
The Syrian army made notable advances Monday and almost besieged Jobar from all directions to isolate it, Xinhua reported.
A security source said the army troops would keep moving ahead in the Damascus countryside, until eliminating all rebel positions.
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