France proposes use of force in Syria

April 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM
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PARIS, April 25 (UPI) -- The French foreign minister said Wednesday the U.N. Security Council should authorize the use of military force in Syria if a fragile peace plan collapses.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan helped broker a cease-fire that was to enter into force April 10. Violence was reported after an initial calm, however.

Damascus maintains its fighting domestic terrorists. Syrian umbrella organization, the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, said more than two dozen people died Wednesday, including three who died under torture.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was quoted by the BBC as saying Paris was out of patience.

"We cannot allow the (Syrian) regime to defy us," he said. If the peace deal collapses, "we would have to move to a new stage with a Chapter Seven resolution … to stop this tragedy."

A Chapter Seven resolution at the U.N. Security Council authorizes the use of military force.

Annan told members of the Security Council this week he was alarmed by the reports of violence coming out of Syria following the cease-fire agreement.

The Security Council said it wanted to speed up the deployment of unarmed military observers to Syria. A small group is on the ground already, though a resolution calls for a 300-member mission.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said, following Annan's briefing, that some members of the Security Council were skeptical of Syria's intentions.

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