British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday an international response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was possible without unanimous UN Security Council backing.
"Is it possible to respond to chemical weapons without complete unity on the UN Security Council? I would argue yes," he told the BBC.
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Pressure for international action in Syria is mounting in the wake of an alleged gas attack near Damascus last week which activists said killed hundreds of people.
Asked about the possibility of military strikes this week, Hague said: "I'm not going to rule anything in or out, I'm not going to speculate about that in public."
"It is possible to take actions based on great humanitarian need and humanitarian distress, it is possible to do that under many scenarios," he said.
"We, the US and other countries including France are very clear that we can't allow the idea in the 21st century that chemical weapons can be used with impunity, but I can't go into the military options at the moment."