French Prime Minister Says Assad Will Use Chemical Weapons Again if There is No Response

Make the comment in speech to lawmakers


PARIS (AP)—France's prime minister made a passionate appeal Wednesday for intervention in Syria, placing the blame for a chemical attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad and warning that inaction would let him carry out more atrocities.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault addressed the French National Assembly at the beginning of a debate on the wisdom and necessity of a French military response. Wednesday's debate will end without a vote—since President Francois Hollande can order a military operation without one—but it was part of his government's delicate dance to rev up support at home for an unpopular intervention.

The French debate also offered a preview of the challenges ahead for the Obama administration when the U.S. Congress debates Syria next week.