British PM Says Growing Evidence Syria Used Chemical Weapons

by
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday there was limited but growing evidence that Syria had committed a war crime by using chemical weapons.

David Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday there was limited but growing evidence that Syria had committed a war crime by using chemical weapons.

In a cautious assessment mirroring that of U.S. President Barack Obama's administration, Cameron said the use of chemical weapons was a red line that should trigger greater pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

"It is limited evidence but there is growing evidence that we have seen too of the use of chemical weapons, probably by the regime," Cameron told the BBC.

"It is extremely serious: this is a war crime ... We need to go on gathering this evidence and also to send a very clear warning to the Syrian regime about these appalling actions," he said.

The White House said on Thursday the Syrian government had probably used chemical weapons on a small scale in the country's civil war, but insisted Obama needed definitive proof before he would take action.

The disclosure created a quandary for Obama, who has set the use of chemical weapons as a "red line" that Assad must not cross. It triggered calls from some hawkish Washington lawmakers for a U.S. military response, which the president has resisted.

"I think what President Obama said was absolutely right - that this should form for the international community a red line for us to do more ... I have always been keen to do more," Cameron said.

But when he was asked if there could be troops deployed on the ground in Syria, Cameron said: "I don't want to see that and I don't think that is likely to happen, but I think we can step up the pressure on the regime, work with our partners, work with the opposition in order to bring about the right outcome."

View Comments

Recommended For You