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French parliament to hold emergency Syria session on 4 September

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday pledged to 'punish' the Syrian regime over the suspected gas attacks

AFP , Wednesday 28 Aug 2013
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The French parliament will hold an emergency session to debate the Syria crisis on September 4, minister Alain Vidalies said Wednesday.

The announcement comes as France and its allies weigh a potential military intervention in Syria following an alleged chemical weapons attack last week in the Damascus suburbs that the West blames on the regime.

"There will be a special debate in the (lower house) National Assembly and in the (upper house) Senate," said Vidalies, who is in charge of relations between the government and parliament.

It is as yet unclear whether a military operation will take place over last Wednesday's alleged attack -- which Syria's opposition says killed more than 1,300 people -- and if it does, when it will happen.

But under French law, a one-off military intervention does not need parliamentary approval.

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday pledged to "punish" the Syrian regime over the suspected gas attacks, which Damascus defiantly denies being responsible for.

US Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel has said American forces are in place and "ready to go" if ordered to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Britain, meanwhile, has called back its lawmakers from their summer holidays to vote on a response to the Syria crisis.

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