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Syria acknowledges having weapons of mass destruction

A Syrian official is seen in an undated still from footage of Syrian television.

July 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Syrian officials threatened Monday to use chemical and biological weapons in case of a foreign attack in what was the country's first acknowledgement that it has weapons of mass destruction.

During the announcement, officials said they will not use the weapons against their own citizens.

Meanwhile, European Union ministers are meeting in Brussels, Belgium and are tightening sanctions on Syria.

"Our decisions will strengthen sanctions against the Assad regime and also help neighboring countries, mainly Jordan and Lebanon, who will have to take in many of the refugees. We're doing both things," said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Also, Iraqi state TV says the Iraqi prime minister has officially authorized the entry of Syrian refugees into Iraq.

The EU banned weapons exports to Syria in May, 2011. But until now, the 28 member nations had the right to decide whether or not to inspect cargos believed to be in breach of the embargo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.