Aug. 27 - French President Francois Hollande says the country is ready to punish those who ''took the despicable decision to gas the innocent,'' while British Prime Minister David Cameron says that any military action against Syria must not entail being dragged into a wider Middle East conflict. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
French President Francois Hollande vows action against Syria following allegations that Damascus used chemical weapons against its own people last week. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "The chemical massacre in Damascus cannot be left without a response and France is ready to punish those who took the despicable decision to gas the innocent. In the last few days I have increased contact with our allies, notably American and European, as well as with our partners in the Arab world, to consider all the options." Just what action will come is unclear with British Prime Minister David Cameron saying it would need to be "proportionate." (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING "This is not about getting involved in a Middle Eastern war or changing our stance in Syria or going further into that conflict. It's nothing to do with that, it's about chemical weapons, their use is wrong and the world shouldn't stand idly by." In Syria, on the ground the foes of President Bashar al-Assad are hoping for any help they can get. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABU ALI, MEMBER OF THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION, SAYING: "For us as citizens, we hope that anyone, from any nation, Arab or Western, would attack this regime so that we will be free from its tyranny and its brutal attacks." The US said its forces in the region were "ready to go", but the White House insists the President is still considering various options, not just military force.