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Thursday, August 22, 2013

France Discusses Using Force In Syria

A Syrian military soldier holds his Ak-47 with a sticker of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Arabic that reads, "Syria is fine," as he stands guard at a check point in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

A Syrian military soldier holds his Ak-47 with a sticker of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Arabic that reads, “Syria is fine,” as he stands guard at a check point in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

France’s foreign minister is raising the possibility of the use of force in Syria if it’s proven that Bashir Assad’s regime used chemical weapons.

Syrian government forces pressed on with a military offensive in eastern Damascus on Thursday, bombing rebel-held suburbs where the opposition said the regime had killed over 100 people the day before in a chemical weapons attack.

The government has denied allegations it used chemical weapons in artillery barrages on the area known as eastern Ghouta on Wednesday as “absolutely baseless.”

The United States, Britain and France have demanded that a team of U.N. experts already in Syria be granted immediate access to investigate the site.

Syrian opposition figures and activists have reported widely varying death tolls from Wednesday’s attack, from 136 to as high as 1,300. But even the most conservative tally would make it the deadliest alleged chemical attack in Syria’s civil war.

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