French military preparing for Syria operation
PARIS (AP) - France said openly on Thursday for the first time that its military is preparing for a possible operation in Syria - but President Francois Hollande stopped short of announcing armed intervention over a suspected chemical weapons attack.
Expectations have been mounting that the United States (US), France and Britain are preparing military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime after an apparent poison gas attack in Syria on Aug 21. United Nations (UN) experts are currently in Syria investigating what happened.
Mr Hollande does not need French parliamentary approval to launch military action that lasts less than four months. He appears to have a stronger hand than his US and British counterparts, who are facing some resistance at home to a Syrian intervention amid questions over the attack.
While Mr Hollande has spoken firmly against Mr Assad's regime, the French military has been quiet about its plans.