James Blitz, John Aglionby and Richard McGregor
August 29, 2013

The US and Britain were battling to keep their plans for a weekend military strike against Syria on track after the UN secretary-general said time was needed to investigate allegations that the regime had used chemical weapons against civilians.

As the White House and Downing Street prepared to unveil evidence setting out how they claim Syrian government forces launched chemical weapons in an attack last week, officials in London said the Security Council had a “responsibility to act” in response to the atrocity.

However, Russia, the Assad regime’s most powerful ally, argued it was premature to discuss such a resolution while UN inspectors were in Syria investigating the allegations.

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