France to strike Syria if chemical weapon use is proved, Macron says

Macron will stick to national service campaign pledge says spokesman

France will launch strikes if proof emerges that the Syrian regime has used banned chemical weapons against its civilians, President Emmanuel Macron has said.

Some 109 occurred after the 2015 United Nations adoption of Resolution 2209 which condemns any use of chemicals as a weapon in the Syrian Civil War and threatens to use force if chemical weapons are used again in the conflict.

Regarding the Syrian regime itself, either during or after the conflict; "it will be answerable to global justice" he added.

Speaking to reporters at Elysee Palace, Macron said the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria is France's "red line". I have told (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to be very clear with the Syrian regime.

Western governments accused Bashar Assad of being responsible for the use of sarin gas, an allegation he has repeatedly denied, reiterating that Syria did not possess a chemical weapons arsenal, the full destruction of which was confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Assad has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons, but worldwide organizations have offered convincing evidence to the contrary.

On January 13, 2018 there was a suspected chlorine attack in an area between Douma and Harasta in Eastern Ghouta, using ground-launched rockets, caused a small number of civilians to be hospitalized for breathing difficulties, according to medics and human rights groups.

But Defense Minister Florence Parly was more reserved on February 9 when asked if Damascus had crossed the "red line". "We have some indications of the use of chlorine, but we do not have absolute confirmation, so it is this confirmation work that we are doing with others because obviously we have to establish the facts", she said.

"On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line".

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