|Published:||Aug 30, 2013 6:07 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 30, 2013 6:07 AM EDT|
French President Francois Hollande says his country can go ahead with plans to strike Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons despite the British parliament's failure to endorse military action.
"The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished," Hollande said in an interview with the newspaper Le Monde, published on Friday.
The French president reiterated that France wants a "proportional and firm action" but said when asked about the type of intervention that "all options are on the table."
The German government, on the other hand, says it currently has no plans to join military action against Syria.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Friday that "we haven't considered any German military participation and still aren't doing so."
His comments follow an interview Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle gave to the daily Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung in which he said Germany hadn't been asked to contribute to military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad following the alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians last week.
U.N. experts have delayed the start of what's expected to be the last day of their probe into last week's suspected chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital that reportedly killed more than 300 people.
A convoy of U.N. vehicles left the inspectors' hotel in central Damascus early Friday, but returned minutes later. It was not clear why the team turned back, and the U.N. could not be reached for comment.
The U.N. said Thursday the inspectors would wrap up their investigation Friday into the Aug. 21 attack, and leave Syria the following day. Some of the experts will travel to laboratories in Europe to deliver the material they've collected this week.
The U.S. blames the Syrian government for the attack, and has signaled it could carry out punitive strikes.