Friends pose for a photograph at coffee shop in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Syria reached an agreement with the United Nations on Sunday to allow a U.N. team of experts to visit the site of alleged chemical weapons attacks last week outside Damascus, state media said. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
PARIS (AP) — A French defense spokesman says the French military is ready to commit forces to an operation in Syria if President Francois Hollande decides to do so.
Hollande remained non-committal Thursday, offering his support for the visiting chief of the Syrian opposition but stopping short of announcing a military intervention.
French Defense Ministry spokesman Pierre Bayle told reporters Thursday that "the French armed forces have put themselves at the ready to respond to the instructions of the president if he takes the decision to commit French forces" to an international intervention in Syria's civil war.
While Hollande has spoken out strongly against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, on Thursday he stressed the importance of a political solution and making the Syrian opposition a stronger and more viable alternative.
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