Syria Warns West Amid Growing Talk of Military Strike

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DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria’s foreign minister struck a defiant tone Tuesday amid growing international calls for a military response to the country’s suspected use of chemical weapons, denying his nation is hindering inspectors and warning Western leaders against an attack.

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gives an interview to journalists from a Russia newspaper on August 25. (Credit: Syrian Arab News Agency)

“Syria is not easy to swallow,” Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said Tuesday at a news conference. “We have the materials to defend ourselves. We will surprise others.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office recalled lawmakers from their summer vacation Tuesday to vote on a response to the alleged chemical attack.

His office also said the country’s military was making contingency plans for a Syrian operation, joining U.S. officials who said Monday that President Barack Obama’s administration was evaluating options for a military response to the suspected use of chemical agents against the Syrian rebel stronghold of Ghouta.

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