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Russia: Syrian chemical weapons under control

Associated Press
A Syrian carries a revolution flag during a Friday protest in Aleppo, Syria, where young people and children sang songs against Bashar Assad and the Syrian regime, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.(AP Photo/Virginie Nguyen Hoang)
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A Syrian carries a revolution flag during a Friday protest in Aleppo, Syria, where young people and children sang songs against Bashar Assad and the Syrian regime, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.(AP Photo/Virginie Nguyen Hoang)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister says the Syrian government has consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught.

Sergey Lavrov says Russia, which has military advisers training Syria's military, has kept close watch over its chemical arsenal. He says the Syrian government has moved them from many arsenals to just "one or two centers" to properly safeguard them.

U.S. intelligence says the regime may be readying chemical weapons and could be desperate enough to use them. Both Israel and the U.S. have also expressed concerns they could fall into militant hands if the regime crumbles.

Lavrov also told reporters on a flight from an EU summit late Friday that countries in the region had asked Russia to convey an offer of safe passage to President Bashar Assad.

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