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France Warns Syria of Forceful Response over Chemical Weapon Claims

syria_tremsehThe UK, France and Turkey are leading calls for a tough international response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on Wednesday, in which activists said hundreds were killed.

According to a report on NPR.org: 

Claims by the opposition in Syria that President Bashar Assad’s forces used chemical weapons during an attack Wednesday near Damascus — killing scores of people, they say — are being followed Thursday by word that:

‘The French foreign minister has said that the international community would need to respond with force if allegations were proven that Syrian government forces carried out a mass chemical attack on civilians.’

“Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is also urging that action be taken ‘to prevent further chemical strikes.’

“This event is one that cannot be ignored anymore,’ Mr. Davutoglu said.”‘

From the NPR Newscast, the BBC’s Nick Bryant reports:

“Still, as the BBC’s Nick Bryant reports, “meeting in emergency session, the United Nations Security Council failed to reach an agreement on a toughly worded statement condemning the alleged atrocity in Damascus. … Once again we saw the usual divisions between the Russians and the Chinese on one hand and the Americans, the British, the French on the other.”

Disturbing footage

According to the BBC:

“Opposition activists said that more than 1,000 people were killed after government forces launched rockets with toxic agents into the Damascus suburbs in the Ghouta region early on Wednesday.

“The Syrian government has denied the allegations, describing them as “illogical and fabricated”. The Syrian army said the opposition made up the claims to divert attention from the huge losses its forces had suffered recently.

“Activists said the attack took place as part of heavy government bombardment in the region surrounding Damascus, with government forces trying to drive out rebel forces. The areas said to have been affected included Irbin, Duma and Muadhamiya.

“Footage uploaded to the internet shows dozens of bodies with no visible signs of injuries, including small children, laid out on the floor of a clinic. Other videos show people being treated in makeshift hospitals, with victims, including many children, having convulsions.”

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