1. ITV Report

Assad warns France over Syria military action

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Reuters

President Bashar al-Assad has warned France it will become an enemy of Syria if it is to take part in a military intervention.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Assad described the accusation his regime had used chemical weapons as "illogical" and also warned of "a regional war" in the Middle East if the US and France were to launch a military strike on Syria.

Whoever makes accusations must provide proof. We have challenged the US and France to put forward a single piece of proof. Mr Obama and Mr Hollande have been incapable of doing so.

I do not say whether the Syrian army possesses such arms or not. Suppose that our army wished to use weapons of mass destruction, is it possible that it would do it within a zone where it is itself present and where soldiers have been injured by these weapons, as found by UN inspectors who visited them at the hospital where they are being treated? Where is the logic?

– Bashar al-Assad

Assad's comments came as the French government said it had intelligence showing the Syrian chemical attack was launched from within Government-controlled areas.

It also described the attack as "massive and coordinated" and concluded the opposition would not have had the means to carry it out.

French President Francois Hollande. Credit: Press Association

The report went on to say the chemical attack was an attempt to take back the territories and the Syrian regime later bombed areas where chemical strikes had taken place in a bid to wipe out any evidence.

It added the Syrian use of chemical weapons posed a major threat to French and global security.