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Firm Response Needed To Syria Chemical Attack, NATO Chief Says

posted 2 Sep 2013, 06:52 by Mpelembe   [ updated 2 Sep 2013, 06:53 ]

NATO'S Rasmussen says firm response needed to the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syriaand that he is convinced the Syrian regime is responsible for the attack.

BRUSSELSBELGIUM (SEPTEMBER 2, 2013) (NATO TV) -  A firm international response is needed to an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday (September 2).

"It is my firm position that the international community should react in such a situation, otherwise we would send the very dangerous signal to dictators all over the world that they can use a chemical weapons without any reaction from the international community," Rasmussen told a news conference.

He added he had seen evidence that had convinced him that the Syrian authorities were behind the deadly chemical weapon attack.

"I have been presented with concrete information and, without going into details, I can tell you that personally I am convinced, not only that a chemical attack has taken place, but I am also convinced that the Syrian regime is responsible," he said.

Rasmussen said it was up to individual NATO countries to decide how they would respond to the attack and he did not envisage any NATO role beyond existing plans to defend NATO memberTurkey, which borders Syria.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he will seek congressional authorisation for punitive action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after what Washington said was a sarin gas attack on Aug. 21 that killed more than 1,400 people.