‘France will strike’ if proven chemical bombs used in Syria: Macron
President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that “France will strike” if chemical weapons are used against civilians in the Syrian conflict in violation of international treaties, but that he had not yet seen proof this was the case.
Macron said last May that the use of chemical weapons would represent a “red line”. In a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday expressed concern over signs that chlorine bombs had been used against civilians in Syria.
“On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line,” Macron told reporters. “If we have proven evidence that chemical weapons proscribed in treaties are used, we will strike the place where they are made.”
“Today, our agencies, our armed forces have not established that chemical weapons, as set out in treaties, have been used against the civilian population.”
The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons and said it targets only armed rebels and militants.
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Last week was one of the bloodiest in the Syrian conflict as Syrian government forces, who are backed by Russia and Iran, bombarded two of the last major rebel areas of Syria – Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and the northwestern province of Idlib.
Diplomatic efforts have made scant progress toward ending a war now approaching its eighth year, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced half the pre-war Syrian population of 23 million from their homes. Read more