Following Syria's controversial statement yesterday that it would use chemical weapons against foreign intervention the U.S. President Barack Obama responded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be held accountable if he made the "tragic mistake" of using his stockpile of chemical weapons.

"Today we're also working so that the Syrian people can have a better future, free of the Assad regime Given the regime's stockpiles of chemical weapons, we will continue to make it clear to Assad and those around him that the world is watching and that they will be held accountable by the international community and the United States should they make the tragic mistake of using those weapons."

International pressure on President Bashar al-Assad has escalated dramatically in the last week with a rebel offensive. BBC news reported this morning that 6 areas around Damascus are in rebel hands but they are out gunned by The Syrian Army. The battle for Aleppo the second biggest city continues. The importance of Aleppo cannot be underestimated. It is the established commercial and industrial heart of the country, so if Assad loses control of this city, then economically he loses control as well. This follows of course the bomb attack which killed four members of his inner circle in Damascus.

I am Ann Salter thanks for watching. For the latest news on Syria and updates follow me on our website at

Written and presented by Ann Salter