(August 30) Today's Top Headlines - U.K. out of Syria discussions, France not - Today's Headlines - Explorer

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(August 30) Today's Top Headlines - U.K. out of Syria discussions, France not

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According to a CNN report, French President Francois Hollande said his country could go ahead with plans to strike Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons despite the British parliament's failure to endorse military action.

"The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished," Hollande said in an interview with the newspaper Le Monde, published on Friday.

The French president reiterated that France wants a "proportional and firm action" but said when asked about the type of intervention that "all options are on the table."

The Obama administration, meanwhile, was to release on Friday a declassified version of its intelligence report on the purported Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, a senior administration official told CBS News late Thursday.

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The official also said the administration would release its legal justification for taking military action on the Syrian regime if and when President Obama orders a strike -- a move which White House officials indicated to CBS News that the president might make even without the backing of Britain, Washington's closest ally.

The administration said it expects to have rhetorical support from many nations, but no longer considered British military participation vital, deeming it preferable, but not necessary.

"We don't have to wait for them," a senior administration official told CBS News. "We want to be helpful, but we'll act on our own decision-making."

Speaking during visit Friday to the Philippines, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the Obama administration was still consulting with allies to "further develop the facts" about last week's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, and options for a response.

Speaking at a news conference in Manila, Hagel said the administration also would continue to seek input from members of Congress on how the U.S. should respond to the deadly attack.

Hagel said Thursday's consultation by high-level Obama administration officials with congressional leaders was "not to convince anyone of anything." He said it was intended as an update and a chance to solicit lawmakers' views on possible U.S. military or other action.

"As we continue to consult with our allies, we'll further develop the facts and intelligence on what happened," he said.

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