An al-Qaeda affiliate reportedly threatened a "volcano of revenge" against the Syrian government over president Bashar al-Assad's alleged gas attack on civilians, as Britain prepared to condemn the same regime with a UN Security Council resolution.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's office said in a statement it will put forward the draft resolution today under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, amid ramped-up rhetoric from Western allies for building military action against Syria.
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The prospect of a U.S.-led intervention into Syria's civil war stems from the West's assertion — still not endorsed by UN inspectors — that Assad's government was responsible last week's suspected chemical attack on civilians outside Damascus on Aug. 21.
Doctors Without Borders says the attack killed 355 people, though Assad denies his forces were behind any use of chemical weapons against his people.
The White House, backed by France and Britain, has said the evidence is "undeniable" that a chemical attack was launched by Assad's military. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has called the alleged attack an "outrage" and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is conferring closely with U.S. President Barack Obama as the situation in Syria escalates.
'Volcano of revenge'
Meanwhile, the SITE Monitoring Group reports that a branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) said in a statement it would punish Syria for a series of massacres, including last week's alleged chemical weapons attack, after meeting eight Syrian factions.
"The meeting factions decided to carry out the 'volcano of revenge' invasion in response to the regime's massacres against our people in Eastern Ghouta, the last of which was the chemical weapons massacre," SITE quoted the statement, dated Aug. 26, as saying.
"They have decided to strike the main joints of the regime in imprisoned Damascus, including security branches, support and supply points, training centres, and infrastructure," it said.
The United States and its allies are gearing up for a probable military strike against Syria, believing that President Bashar Assad's forces carried out the worst chemical weapons attack since Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurds in 1988.
With files from Reuters