France persists in talk of war against Syria
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The French government continues its campaign to promote war against Syria, saying military intervention will "re-balance" the situation in the Arab country. On Wednesday, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French government spokeswoman, said a military action in Syria would "re-balance" the situation in the country, which is currently in favor of the government. On the same day, France's foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said, "If you want a political solution you have to move the situation. If there's no sanction, Bashar Assad will say 'that's fine, I'll continue what I'm doing.'" This is while, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West against taking one-sided action in Syria in a Wednesday interview with state-run Channel One Television, saying any action without the backing of UN Security Council backing would be considered an "aggression." "Any other ways to justify the use of force against another sovereign and independent state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression," Putin said. The rhetoric of war against Syria first gained momentum on August 21, when the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that hundreds of people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar. Damascus categorically rejected having had any role in the chemical attack. Nevertheless, a number of Western countries, including the US, France, and the UK, quickly started campaigning for war. On Tuesday, August 27, speculations became stronger about the possibility of a military attack on Syria. Media outlets reported US plans for likely surgical attacks, which would be in the form of "cruise-missile strikes," and "could rely on ... US destroyers in the Mediterranean [Sea]." The plan was said to be awaiting US President Barack Obama's go-ahead. Later, however, domestic and international calls against a potential war seemed to have forced some of the warmongering countries to tone down their stances. However, Washington remained defiant, saying that it is willing to go ahead with its plans for a strike on Syria without the approval of the United Nations or even the support of its allies. Under mounting pressure though, US President Barack Obama said on Saturday, August 31 that his administration will first seek authorization from the Congress. The rollercoaster trend of war talk comes while the team of UN inspectors, who recently visited Syria to probe the sites of chemical attacks, has yet to release the findings of its inspection. The UN, Iran, Russia, and China have warned against war.