Germany: al Assad is "outrageous"

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemned the Syrian government's threat this week to use chemical weapons if attacked by a foreign power.

Westerwelle called the recent announcement by Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi that confirmed that his country possesses weapons of mass destruction "outrageous," according to

"Threatening to use chemical weapons is monstrous," Westerwelle said, reports. "The Syrian regime has once again revealed the contempt for human life in its thinking. I urge all authorities in Syria to responsibly contribute to securing any chemical weapons stockpiles."

Makdissi denied that the Assad regime would use chemical or unconventional weapons on its own citizens, but said its generals would decide how to deploy them in response to external aggression.

"Any stocks of chemical weapons that may exist, will never, ever be used against the Syrian people," Makdissi said, reports.

The 27 foreign ministers of the European Union issued a joint statement from Brussels in response to the Syrian threats, saying that "The EU is seriously concerned about the potential use of chemical weapons in Syria."

The European Union also announced that it would increase emergency aid to Syrian refugees by $24 million to a total of $72 million.

Nearly 120,000 refugees have been officially registered, but the United Nations estimates that the true number of people displaced by the conflict could be 10 times as large, according to the Agence France-Presse.