No plans for military intervention in Syria: France

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The international community's position on Syria's deadly crackdown on anti-regime protesters does not include any plans for a Libya-style military intervention to halt the bloodshed, France said Tuesday.

"The situations in Libya and Syria are not similar" and "no option of a military nature is planned," foreign ministry spokeswoman Christine Fages told reporters, without elaborating on how the situations differed.

She was responding to a question about whether the situation in Libya, where NATO is conducting air strikes against Moamer Kadhafi's forces as part of a United Nations mandate to protect civilians, might be repeated in Syria.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal were hoping to revive their push for a formal resolution from the UN Security Council when it meets Tuesday for a second day of talks on Syria.

They want the council to condemn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown. But diplomats said that it was more likely the council would instead agree on a simple statement, with no warning of UN action.

Russia and China have threatened to veto any formal resolution against Assad.

A top UN official said Monday that on top of 140 people reported killed in a military offensive on Sunday, 3,000 people have gone missing and 12,000 been taken prisoner since the anti-regime protests erupted in mid-March.

More than 1,60O civilians and 369 members of the army and security forces have been killed since March 15 in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

© 2011 AFP

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