Syrian opposition urges US to act on 'red line'

Associated Press
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This Wednesday, April 24, 2013 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a damaged street in Otaybah town, east of Damascus, Syria. After five weeks of battle, Syrian government troops captured a strategic town near Damascus, cutting an arms route for rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad's regime, state media and activists said Thursday. (AP Photo/SANA)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition figures are urging the U.S. to act on President Barack Obama's own public assertions that Syria's use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line."

The White House and other top Obama administration officials said Thursday that U.S. intelligence has concluded with "varying degrees of confidence" that the Syrian government has twice used chemical weapons in its civil war.

Ahmad Ramadan, a member of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group's executive body, called the U.S. assertion an "important step" that should be followed by actual measures taken by the U.N. Security Council and Friends of Syria group.

Ramadan told The Associated Press by phone from Istanbul that the U.S. has a "moral duty" to act to prevent President Bashar Assad from using more chemical weapons.