France: Assad could strike again with chemical attacks if no one acts
PARIS (AP) - France's Prime Minister said on Wednesday there is no doubt that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical attack against civilians - and that a failure to react would allow President Bashar al-Assad to launch a similar attack again.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault addressed Parliament on Wednesday during a debate to rally support for a military strike against Syria. The United States and France accuse Mr Assad's Syrian government of using chemical weapons in an Aug 21 attack on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus that killed hundreds.
Mr Ayrault said the attack killed nearly 1,500 people, a higher figure than the French government has used before. He is in the delicate position of trying to shore up support amid deep scepticism in France while also waiting to see if the US Congress authorises military action next week.
France's government offered a preview on Wednesday of what the Obama administration faces next week, as lawmakers debate the wisdom and necessity of a military response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed hundreds.