Syrian troops deployed in Lebanon have taken extraordinary precautions against a possible spread of chemical warfare in the Persian Gulf area, security officials said Monday.

The officials said Syria's 35,000 troops deployed in two thirds of the country were supplied with gas masks, anti-chemical equipment and flour to cover their bodies in case they were showered with deadly liquids.In Lebanon, a local environmental organization instructed citizens to use running water, preferably warm, in case of a chemical attack.

Dozens of Syrian troops dug in advance positions in southeastern Lebanese territory and in the Muslimsector of the capital were seen brandishing gas masks and fortifying positions, officials and witnesses said.