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France says won’t intervene unilaterally in Syria

A boy looks at the drawings on a wall in Raqqa province, east Syria, June 4, 2013. The drawing reads “Homs is bleeding.” (Reuters)

France will not intervene unilaterally in Syria, the government said Wednesday after Paris stated there was “no doubt” that the regime in the war-torn country had used deadly sarin gas.

“France will take no unilateral and isolated decision... It is now up to the international community,” government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told reporters in response to a question on a possible military intervention in Syria.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday experts had analyzed samples brought back from Syria and concluded that the deadly nerve agent had been used several times.

He told France 2 television that in at least one case, there was “no doubt that it was the regime and its accomplices.”

“We will hold talks with our partners on what we must do and all options are on the table,” he said, to decide “whether to react, including in an armed manner.”

Not long after his comments, Britain said that its own samples brought back from Syria had tested positive for sarin gas and that there was growing information showing that the regime was using chemical weapons.

Washington, however, has been more cautious and says more evidence is needed before concluding that sarin has been used.

The confirmation that chemical weapons have been used comes after Syria’s army ousted rebels from the strategic town of Qusayr after a 17-day assault led by Hezbollah fighters, in a major success for the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Hollande says world must act

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday that the world was obligated to act in response to concrete evidence of the deadly nerve agent sarin being used in Syria.

“We have provided the elements of proof that now obligate the international community to act,” Hollande told reporters in Paris.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 5 June 2013 KSA 19:25 - GMT 16:25
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