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French PM: Syria's Bashar al-Assad 'a war criminal'

4 September 2013 Last updated at 16:30 BST

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has strongly condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying ''he has become a war criminal'' after last month's alleged chemical attack near Damascus.

Speaking at the start of a debate in the French parliament about possible military intervention in response to the attack, Mr Ayrault said any action would be ''firm, proportional and timely.''

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