France 'determined' to punish Syria, says PM Jean-Marc Ayrault

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said that France remains ''determined'' to punish the suspected chemical attack near Damascus last month.

But he said France would not act in isolation and its response would be firm and proportionate and not designed to overthrow the Syrian government.

A report presented to parliament by Mr Ayrault said the assault on 21 August involved the "massive use of chemical agents.''

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has again denied being behind the attack, warning that foreign military action could ignite a wider regional conflict.