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France says ready to punish those who gassed civilians

Source: Reuters - Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:32 GMT
Author: Reuters
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PARIS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that France stood ready to punish the perpetrators of a chemical attack in Damascus last week and would increase its military support to the Syrian opposition.

"France is ready to punish those who took the decision to gas the innocent," Hollande told an annual meeting in Paris of dozens of French ambassadors posted around the world.

Hollande said it seemed certain that forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad were behind the chemical attack - which is believed to have killed hundreds of civilians - and said it was the outside world's responsibility to respond. (Reporting by John Irish and Julien Ponthus; Writing by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Alison Williams)

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