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Britain,France warn Syria with military action

The British and French statements reinforced a sense that the window for diplomatic efforts to halt the 18-month-old conflict might have closed,as new crackdowns by the Syrian military were reported in the Damascus suburbs.

Written by New York Times |
August 25, 2012 1:08:11 am

Britain and France raised the possibility of military intervention in the Syria conflict on Thursday,with the British prime minister joining President Obama in warning that he would not tolerate the transport or deployment of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile,and France’s defence minister saying that a partial no-fly zone should be considered.

The British and French statements reinforced a sense that the window for diplomatic efforts to halt the 18-month-old conflict might have closed,as new crackdowns by the Syrian military were reported in the Damascus suburbs. On Monday,Obama,worried that chemical weapons could fall into the hands of extremists in the chaos that has engulfed parts of Syria,issued a direct threat to the Syrian government about the possibility of American military action.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain added his voice to Obama’s warning on Thursday. A statement by his office at 10 Downing Street that was posted online said he and Obama had discussed the issue by telephone on Wednesday evening and that “both agreed that the use — or threat — of chemical weapons was completely unacceptable and would force them to revisit their approach so far.”

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