07/24/12: The Associated Press (via Yahoo! News) reports Russia chided its longtime ally Syria on Tuesday over its threat to use chemical weapons in case of a foreign attack, but Moscow showed no signs of abandoning President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Syria is Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East and hosts the only naval base Moscow has outside the former Soviet Union. Russia has protected Syria from international sanctions and supplied it with weapons amid an escalating civil war. On Monday, Damascus threatened to unleash its chemical and biological weapons if it faces a foreign attack, its first-ever acknowledgement it possesses weapons of mass destruction. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement reminding Syria that it has ratified a global convention banning the use of chemical weapons.