French president says France 'ready to punish' Assad

The French president said all signs point to Bashar Assad's regime in last week's alleged poison gas attack that rebels say killed more than 1,300 people. Hollande said he would gather his national security council on Wednesday and inform Parliament of his decision “at the earliest.”

Hollande cited the United Nations's “responsibility to protect civilians” as a reason for action. He also announced that France would boost aid to the Syrian rebels.

The comments follow Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelOvernight Defense: Latest on historic Korea summit | Trump says 'many people' interested in VA job | Pompeo thinks Trump likely to leave Iran deal Should Mike Pompeo be confirmed? Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security MORE's statement Tuesday that U.S. troops are “ready t to go” on Syria whenever President Obama gives the green light. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that “what we are evaluating now is a response to the clear use on a mass scale with repugnant results of chemical weapons.”

And British Prime Minister David Cameron shortened his vacation and returned to London on Tuesday. He is scheduled to meet with his national security council on Wednesday, and Parliament has been called back for an emergency session on Thursday to debate and vote on a British response.

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