US blames Syrian govt for gas attack; strike expected soon | Bangkok Post: learning

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Updated with father-son reunited video: US blames Syria; strike expected soon

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The US said on Tuesday that Syrian forces were clearly behind the chemical weapons as the likelihood of punitive strikes increased. (Updated with heartwarming video of a father reunited with a son he thought was dead.) 

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Evening update: Father's unbelievable happiness at being reunited with a son he thought was dead

Last week's attack near Damascus, now widely believed to have been a chemical weapons attack, killed more than a thousand people, many of them children. Since then we have seen many videos and photos of the misery the attack caused, but today we have one small scene of joy. A father, who believed his son was one of the dead, suddenly found out that the young boy was actually alive and well. He was completely overwhelmed until finally, with the help of his neighbours, he was composed enough to hold his son in his arms. Watch – and cry if you want to.

There are longer versions of this video. Just do a YouTube search on "Syrian father reunited with his son"

Morning story

People inspecting bodies of children and adults laying on the ground as Syrian rebels claim they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta (AFP)

US blames Syrian govt for gas attack; strike expected soon

From AFP reports

The United States on Tuesday said it was "preposterous" to think anyone but Syrian forces were behind a chemical weapons attack, in an apparent new jab at Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Britain's David Cameron on Monday that there was no evidence yet that President Bashar al-Assad's forces were to blame for the outrage, British officials said.

The White House is readying a public intelligence assessment on the attack in Syria, which officials say will prove Assad's regime was to blame, as US forces gear up for a punitive military strike.

"Suggestions that there's any doubt about who's responsible for this are as preposterous as suggestions that the attack itself didn't occur," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The alleged attack caused a worldwide outcry, and has prompted increasingly frantic calls from Western and Arab nations for action against the Syrian regime, which denies any involvement.

French President Francois Hollande upped the ante on Syria Tuesday, pledging to "punish" the regime over the suspected chemical attacks and boost military support for the opposition.

"France is ready to punish those who took the vile decision to gas innocent people," he said in a televised speech, pointing the finger of blame at President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The "chemical massacre in Damascus cannot be left without a response," he added.

A potential coalition of countries that would launch strikes on Syria is likely to include France, as well as Britain, the United States and other countries such as Turkey.

Experts say the most likely form of intervention is targeted strikes against ammunition depots or strategic infrastructure.

But Syria has defiantly vowed to defend itself against any outside intervention with measures it says will "surprise" the world.

Meanwhile, global stocks plunged and oil prices shot up Tuesday as the West moved closer to punitive military action against Syria.

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Vocabulary:

alleged: claimed to be true although not yet proven; claimed to have done something wrong but not yet proven - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา

ammunition: bullets, bombs, etc that can be fired from a weapon - อาวุธยุทธภัณฑ์, ลูกกระสุน

apparent: seeming to be something although it may not be real - ดูเหมือนว่า, ตามที่เห็นภายนอก

assessment: a judgment or opinion - การประเมิน

blame: responsible for something bad that has happened - มีความรับผิดชอบต่อสิ่งไม่ดีที่เกิดขึ้น

boost: to increase - เพิ่ม

call: a request, an order or a demand for somebody to do something or to go somewhere - ข้อเรียกร้อง

coalition: the act of two or more groups joining together; a group formed by people from several different groups, especially political ones, agreeing to work together for a particular purpose - การรวมเป็นหนึ่งเดียว, การร่วมกัน, การร่วมมือกัน, การประสานกัน

composed: calm and relaxed - สงบ, มีอารมณ์สงบ

defend: to protect against an attack - ป้องกัน,ต้าน

defiant: refusing to obey a person or rule; refusing to accept that something is true - แสดงการท้าทาย, ไม่ยอมทำตาม, ไม่เชื่อฟัง

deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ

depot: a building where supplies or vehicles are kept - คลัง

doubt: a feeling of being uncertain about something/someone or not believing something - ความสงสัย

evidence: facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true - หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง

expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ

forces: the weapons and soldiers that an army, etc. has - กำลังรบ, กองกำลังติดอาวุธ

frantic: done in a very urgent way; so worried or upset that you are not able to control your feelings - ซึ่งไม่สามารถความคุมอารมณ์ได้, คลั่ง,มีอารมณ์รุนแรง

gear up: to prepare yourself, or to prepare something for an activity or event - เตรียม (บางสิ่งเช่น เครื่องจักร) ให้พร้อมสำหรับ

global: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

infrastructure: a set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, e.g., the telephone and transport systems in a country or the system of train tracks that a railway uses - สาธารณูปโภค

innocent: not having done anything wrong - บริสุทธิ์

inspect: to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด

intelligence: information collected about the secret plans of an enemy, criminal organisations, competitors, etc. - ข่าวกรอง  ข้อมูลลับ

intervention: a situation in which someone becomes involved in a particular issue, problem, etc., in order to influence what happens - การแทรกแซง

involvement: the act or process of taking part in something - การเกี่ยวข้อง

jab: a critical comment about someone - การแหย่, การติเตียน

joy: a feeling of great happiness - ความสุขสันต์,ความสุขสำราญ

launch: starting something - การเริ่มต้น

massacre: the action of killing a lot of people - การสังหารหมู่

meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน

measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ

misery: something that causes people to suffer or be unhappy - ความทุกข์ยาก, ความยากแค้น, ความเดือดร้อน

opposition: of a political party that is not part of the government or a group which is against the government - ฝ่ายค้าน  ผู้ต่อต้าน

outcry: a strong expression of anger and disapproval about something, made by a group of people or by the public - การคัดค้านอย่างรุนแรง

outrage: an act or event that is violent, cruel or very wrong and that shocks people or makes them very angry - การกระทำที่โหดเหี้ยม

overwhelmed: greatly affected emotionally - ท่วมท้นไปด้วยความรู้สึก

pledge: to make a serious promise to do something - สัญญา

plunge: to (cause someone or something to) move or fall suddenly and often a long way forward, down or into something - ลดลงอย่างเร็ว (เช่น ราคา, อุณหภูมิ)

potential: possible in the future - ที่อาจเป็นไปได้

preposterous: completely unreasonable, especially in a way that is shocking or annoying - ไร้สาระที่สุด, ผิดปกติ,ประหลาด

prompted: caused - ก่อให้เกิด

punitive: intended as a punishment - เกี่ยวกับการลงโทษ

rebels: people who try to remove a government or leader by force - ผู้ก่อกบฏ

regime: a government that controls a country, especially in a strict or unfair way - รัฐบาลที่ขึ้นมาปกครองโดยการยึดอำนาจ

reunite: to bring together again - รวมตัวกันใหม่, รวมกันใหม่

stock: a share that somebody has bought in a company or business - หุ้น, หุ้นทุน

strategic: involving strategy and planning; important for achieving a particular goal, especially in war, business, or politics - ทางยุทธศาสตร์

strike: a sudden attack - การโจมตี

suggestion: the possibility that something is true, or evidence showing that something may be true - ข้อชวนคิด

suspected: thought to be something - เป็นที่สงสัย

targeted: intended to attack someone or something - ตั้งเป้า เล็ง มุ่ง

toxic: poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment - เป็นพิษ

up the ante: to increase the level of something, especially demands or sums of money - ยกระดับ

vile: morally bad; completely unacceptable; extremely unpleasant or bad - เลวทราม, ชั่วร้าย

vow: to make a formal and serious promise to do something - สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ

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