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BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition figures are urging the U.S. to act on President Barack Obama's own public assertions that Syria's use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line."

The White House and other top Obama administration officials said Thursday that U.S. intelligence has concluded with "varying degrees of confidence" that the Syrian government has twice used chemical weapons in its civil war.

Ahmad Ramadan, a member of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group's executive body, called the U.S. assertion an "important step" that should be followed by actual measures taken by the U.N. Security Council and Friends of Syria group.

Ramadan told The Associated Press by phone from Istanbul that the U.S. has a "moral duty" to act to prevent President Bashar Assad from using more chemical weapons.

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