UK & World News
Syria Crisis: France To Debate Military Action
Politicians in France are due to debate whether the country should take action against Syria.
There will be two debates; one in the upper house of the senate and the other in the second chamber know as the Congress National.
While there are no plans for politicians to vote, that is what many will be pushing for.
Like Washington, Paris has been building a case for intervention and of all Western leaders, French President Francois Hollande has appeared the most committed to punishing President Bashar al Assad for the alleged use of chemical weapons.
However, Mr Hollande has promised he won't go it alone if US Congress opposes an armed offensive.
At a news conference after a meeting with German President Joachim Gauck, Mr Hollande said: "Europe must unite on this dossier and it will, each with its own responsibility. France will accept its role."
He added: "There will be a meeting of foreign ministers soon."
But as France's full political spectrum gathers to question whether intervention is the right course of action, it will be argued that if French MPs don't get to vote, the US congress will effectively decide for them.
Political commentator Agnes Poirier told Sky News: "Hollande is in a difficult position, Cameron set off a chain reaction when he gave Parliament the vote.
"President Obama has now gone to Congress and French politicians are saying why can't we vote on this too."
The French President said his determination to act was reinforced after reading an interview Mr Assad gave to French newspaper Le Figaro in which he denied that his forces had used chemical weapons and threatened "negative repercussions" against France if it intervened.
"On reading this, I became even more determined," Mr Hollande said.
"Those who had doubts about Bashar al Assad's intentions can no longer be in doubt. He speaks of 'liquidating' all those who do not agree with him."
Back in 2003, France had strongly criticised American intervention in Iraq. When it came to Libya, France insisted on UN backing.
Now it is becoming a lone voice of support in Europe - even though recent polls show 64% of the population opposes involvement.
In Cafe Madeleine in central Paris, there were mixed views. Two people used the same analogy to argue opposing opinions.
Waiter Sasha Kristc said: "If your next-door neighbours are having a row you don't go knocking on the door, it's not your business."
But one of his clientele, Faycal El Darwiche, who runs a business between Paris and Lebanon, said: "If your next-door neighbour is abusing his children, it's your responsibility to intervene."