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The Boston Globe

World

France seeks partial no-fly zone above Syria

Russians assert Damascus won’t deploy chemical weapons

BEIRUT — France signaled Thursday that it is prepared to take part in enforcing a partial no-fly zone over Syria, piling pressure on President Bashar Assad’s embattled regime as it widens a major offen­sive against rebels in ­Damascus and surrounding areas.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France urged the international community to consider backing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria, but cautioned that closing the Arab nation’s entire air space would be tantamount to ‘‘going to war’’ and require a willing inter­national coalition that does not yet exist.

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