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03

Sep

2013

France: Syrian Regime Behind Chemical Attack - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

spy program that reportedly targeted the nations leader along with Mexicos, labeling it an unacceptable invasion of sovereignty and calling for international regulations to protect citizens and governments alike from cyber espionage. In a sign that fallout over the spy program is spreading, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that President Dilma Rousseff is considering canceling her October trip to the U.S., where she has been scheduled to be honored with a state dinner. Folha cited unidentified Rousseff aides. The presidents office declined to comment. The Foreign Ministry called in U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon and told him that Brazil expects the White House to provide a prompt written explanation over the espionage allegations. The action came after a report aired Sunday night on Globo TV citing 2012 documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden that indicated the U.S.
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"The attack on August 21 could only have been ordered and carried out bythe regime," the report said, adding that the affected areas were then heavilly shelled to destroy evidence of the chemical attack. At a news briefing, Jean Marc Ayrault, the French prime minister, said: "On the 21st of August the regime of Assad used massive chemical weapons for the oppression of his people." "No one denies the reality. Elements we have obtained allow us to hold the regime responsible. This act cannot remain unanswered. "What is at stake is to discourage all from using such weapons again. To dissuade Assad from using them again by applying firm action. "Our aim is not to overthrow the regime. There will only be a political solution in Syria. It is not for France to act alone. France respects international law." The report was released as the French newspaper, Le Figaro, published excerpts of an interview with Assad, in which he warned that the Middle East was a "powder keg" and that any intervention would make it explode. 'Powder keg' warning Assad challenged Western powers including the US and France to show the world proof that his government was behind the chemical attack.
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