France blames al-Assad for chemical attack

FRANCE yesterday said Syrian President al-Assad was undoubtedly responsible for last month’s chemical weapons attack, as Downing Street ruled out direct UK military intervention.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said there had been a “massive use” of chemical agents in the attack on a Damascus suburb and published intelligence that claims only the Syrian regime could have carried out the attack.

France is preparing for tactical strikes on Syria after hundreds of people were killed in the attack.

But yesterday the UK confirmed it would not be joining either France or the US in the offensive.

The House of Commons last week narrowly voted against a government proposal that called for a strong response to the crisis.

Although supporters of intervention have argued that MPs did not explicity rule out backing military action at a future point, Downing Street yesterday said there was no chance of holding a new vote.

“The Prime Minister’s view is that parliament has spoken,” said a spokesman. But they would not explicity rule out the possibility of the UK providing help in the form of intelligence of air bases.