DAMASCUS, June 1 (Xinhua) -- A Syrian military source said Saturday that army troops seized two cylinders of the poisonous agent sarin after raiding a rebels' den in the central city of Hama, according to state-run SANA news agency.
The rebels were entrenched at al-Faraieh neighborhood in Hama when the army raided their den, said SANA, giving no further details.
The Syrian government has accused the rebels of using chemical weapons during an attack on the pro-government town of Khan al- Asal in northern Syria.
The opposition groups, for their part, also accused the government forces of using chemical weapons in their fight against the rebels.
The issue has caused confusion and discrepancy in international reports.
The French Le Monde claimed its reporters "witnessed" forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical arms in their conflict with the rebels for several days in a row on the outskirts of Damascus.
Earlier in May, Carla del Ponte, who serves on the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said there were "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" about the rebels' use of agent sarin, adding that her "suspicions" were based on testimonies of victims.
Analysts said the West's motive behind stirring up fears of chemical weapons is to set a stage for foreign intervention in case it decides to get involved militarily in toppling the Assad administration.