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France wants Chapter VII measure for Syria

Damaged buildings are seen in Taftanaz village, east of Idlib, Syria on April 5, 2012. Syrian government shelling and offensives against rebel-held towns killed dozens of civilians across the country, activists said. UPI
Damaged buildings are seen in Taftanaz village, east of Idlib, Syria on April 5, 2012. Syrian government shelling and offensives against rebel-held towns killed dozens of civilians across the country, activists said. UPI | License Photo

UNITED NATIONS, June 26 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said Tuesday his government would pursue a Chapter VII resolution against Syria.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday the alliance condemned the Syrian downing of a Turkish fighter jet last weekend.

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"We consider this act to be unacceptable and condemn it in the strongest terms," he said in a statement. "It is another example of the Syrian authorities' disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life."

Syria is accused of committing crimes against humanity during the 15-month crisis. The conflict has spilled over the borders into Lebanon and Turkey, which has witnessed an influx of refugees fleeing Syria.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying his government wanted to "beef up" the U.N. monitoring mission in Syrian "by linking it to Chapter VII (of the U.N. Charter)."

A Chapter VII resolution authorizes the use of military force "to maintain or restore international peace and security."

Russia has stood in opposition to any formal action against Syria at the U.N. Security Council. The country counts Syria as one of its largest military customers.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the crisis in Syria represents "a colossal failure by the Security Council to protect civilians."

The U.N. Human Rights Council is to hear a report Wednesday from a commission of inquiry on Syria.

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