France: Assad could strike again if no one acts
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS September 4, 2013 7:28AM
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says a failure to react would allow Syrian President Bashar Assad to launch a similar gas attack again. | AP Photo
Updated: September 4, 2013 10:19AM
PARIS — France’s prime minister says there’s no doubt that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical attack against civilians — and that a failure to react would allow President Bashar Assad to launch a similar attack again.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault addressed parliament Wednesday during a debate to rally support for a military strike again Syria. The U.S. and France accuse Assad’s Syrian government of using chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus that killed hundreds.
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 skepticism in France while also waiting to see if the U.S. Congress authorizes military action next week.