France warns Syria not to use chemical weapons

By REUTERS
December 4, 2012 16:45

 
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PARIS - France said on Tuesday it was aware the Syrian government was possibly moving chemical weapons on military bases and said foreign powers would be forced to act if it used such arms.

International concerns over Syria's intentions have been heightened by reports its chemical weapons have been moved and could be prepared for use.

"Any use of chemical weapons by (Syrian President) Bashar Assad or officials under his orders would be unacceptable," Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman Vincent Floreani told reporters.

"The leaders in Damascus must be made aware that the international community is watching them and will not stand by without a reaction if these weapons were to be used."

France, one of Assad's harshest critics, has thus far ruled out sending weapons to rebels fighting Assad's government, concerned they could get into the hands of radical Islamists, but now wants the European Union to review its arms embargo.

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