Syria has dismissed US and British claims that it may have used chemical arms as a "barefaced lie" and its ally Russia has warned against using such fears to use military action.
"Statements by the US secretary of state and British government are inconsistent with reality and a barefaced lie," said Omran al-Zohbi, Syria's information minister, in an interview published on Saturday on the Kremlin-funded Russia Today's website.
"I want to stress one more time that Syria would never use it – not only because of its adherence to the international law and rules of leading war, but because of humanitarian and moral issues," Zohbi said.
Zohbi spoke out as UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Damascus to approve a UN mission of inspectors to probe the alleged use of chemical weapons in the conflict that erupted in March 2011.
But Zohbi told Russia Today television station that Syria could not trust UN inspectors from Britain and the United States.