Arab League backs UN action

The Arab League has called for United Nations and international measures against Syria over the recent chemical weapons gas attack.

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Sixth US ship in eastern Mediterranean 'as precaution'

A sixth US warship is now operating in the eastern Mediterranean, near five US destroyers armed with cruise missiles that could soon be directed against Syria as part of a "limited, precise" strike, defence officials said late on Friday.

The USS Mahan, an Arleigh Burke class destroyer. Credit: Reuters

They stressed that the USS San Antonio, an amphibious ship with several hundred U.S. Marines on board, was in the region for a different reason and there were no plans to put Marines on the ground as part of any military action against Syria.

"It's been kept there as a precaution," said one of the officials, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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Obama: World cannot let Assad get away with attack

The US has said that it would punish President Assad for the "brutal and flagrant" chemical weapons attack that it reported killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus last week.

U.S. President Barack Obama at the Cabinet Room of the White House Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

"We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale," President Obama told reporters at the White House.

He said the United States was still in the planning process for a "limited, narrow" military response that would not involve "boots on the ground" or be open-ended. He set no timetable for action.

US and France will not 'tolerate' chemical weapons use

US and France have said that they could not "tolerate" chemical weapons being used in Syria. In a phone call to President Hollande, Mr Obama said that they want to send Assad a "strong message" over the use:

The two leaders agreed that the international community cannot tolerate the use of chemicals weapons and must hold the regime accountable and send a strong message that the use of chemical weapons is not acceptable.

The United States and France are close allies and friends, and we will continue to consult closely with France on Syria and other global security challenges.

– White House statement

Turkey: any action against Syria 'should end Assad rule'

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan Credit: Reuters

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that any international military intervention against Syria should aim to end the rule of President Assad.

"It can't be a 24 hours hit-and-run," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara.

"What matters is stopping the bloodshed in Syria and weakening the regime to the point where it gives up," he said.

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US still in planning process over Syria response

Barack Obama said the US was still in the planning process for a response the chemical attack in Syria. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

President Obama said the US was still in the planning process for a response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria.

He added that no one is more "war weary" than him but the US must be willing to safeguard international norms.

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