France sees 'force' as an option in Syria

Updated: 2013-08-22 20:05


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PARIS -- French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Thursday that "force" are needed if it is confirmed that the Syrian government forces used chemical weapons in the eastern suburb of Damascus.

"There would have to be reactions with force in Syria from the international community, but there is no question of sending in ground troops," said Fabius during a morning interview with the news channel BFM TV.

The minister's remarks came after the main Syrian opposition group claimed that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on Wednesday and killed as many as 1,300 people, but Damascus denied the accusations.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday underlined the need for "clarity" on the latest alleged use of chemical weapons, noting that any use of chemical weapons by any side under any circumstances is a violation of international law.

Fabius said "if the Security Council could not make a decision, at the moment decisions must be taken in another way" but did not make further explanations on it.

The French top diplomat had also exchanged ideas about the Syrian issue with his British counterpart William Hague Wednesday evening in Paris.