Syria naval drill - SANA - 7.7.2012
Syrian army drill, July 7, 2012. Photo by SANA
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Syria will only use its chemical weapons if it faces "external aggression", but will never use them against its civilians, the country's foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.

"Syria will never use (chemical weapons) against Syrians no matter what," Jihad Makdissi told a news conference that was aired on state television.

He said that the weapons were guarded by the Syrian army, adding that the security situation in Damascus was improving.

Concern in Israel, in light of the situation in Syria, especially over Assad's chemical weapons stockpile and land-to-land missiles, is growing every day.

Last week, the New York Times quoted U.S. officials as saying that American security officials have discussed with their Israeli counterparts the possibility that Israel could strike Syria's weapons facilities.

The report came after several top U.S. officials arrived in Israel for talks in recent weeks, including National Security Adviser Tom Dinilon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On Wednesday, administration sources told the New York Times that Pentagon officials discussed whether or not Israel might move to destroy Syrian weapons facilities, as part of a larger Syria strategy.

According to the officials, Washington is not advocating such an attack, because of the inherent risks such a move would bring, and because it would, the report said give "an Assad an opportunity to rally support against Israeli interference."

The Syria issue was included in the discussions between Donilon and Israeli officials, a White House official told the New York Times.