UK: Syria chemical attack report boosts case to arm rebels

By REUTERS
March 20, 2013 16:09

LONDON- Britain said on Wednesday reports of a chemical attack in Syria strengthened the case for relaxing a European Union arms embargo on the country, and warned that a failure to do so could lead to the kind of wartime massacres seen in Bosnia.

Britain and France are pushing for the EU ban to be eased to allow a flow of arms to outgunned rebels waging a two-year-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, but several EU countries and Russia oppose the move.

"The French president is concerned and I am concerned that we should not be restricted for months and months ahead when we don't know exactly what could happen in Syria, including the very worrying reports of use of chemical weapons," British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament.

On Tuesday the Syrian government and rebel forces accused each other of launching a chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo that killed 25 people. Western powers say they are investigating whether chemical weapons were used.


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