UK's Hague: Assad regime behind chemical attack

Britain's Foreign Minister William Hague looks back toward photographers during an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. EU foreign ministers are seeking to forge a joint response to the crisis in Egypt by looking for ways to end the violence and return to negotiations. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

LONDON (AP) — Foreign Secretary William Hague says Britain believes the regime of Syria's President Bashar Assad carried out a chemical weapons attack near Damascus that killed scores of people.

Hague said Friday the only "plausible explanation for casualties so intense in such a small area" was a chemical attack.

In a statement on TV, he said chances the Syrian opposition was behind the attack were "vanishingly small. We do believe this is a chemical attack by the Assad regime on a large scale."

Hague said U.N. chemical weapons inspectors must be given immediate access to the site.

Hague did not echo a French statement that force could be used if the attack is proven to be the work of the regime. But he said "we don't rule out any option for the future."