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France will 'strike' if there is proof chemical weapons used in Syria

Macron also called for an international meeting on Syria. [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 February, 2018

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France will launch attacks if proof emerges that the Syrian regime has used banned chemical weapons against civilians.

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

"We will strike the place where these launches are made or where they are organised," Macron told the presidential press corps.

"But today our services have not established proof that proscribed chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations," he added.

"As soon as such proof is established, I will do what I said," Macron warned, while adding that "the priority is the fight against the terrorists, the jihadists".

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

Macron also called for an international meeting on Syria, in the region if possible.

"I have many proposals," the French leader said, without giving any more details.

Earlier on Tuesday, the vice-president of the Syria Civil Defence, or "White Helmets", said France should stop talking about red lines and focus on real action to persuade the main actors in Syria to agree to a ceasefire.

In May, Macron said that Paris would not accept a failure to open humanitarian corridors in Syria or the use of chemical weapons. Both, he said, represented a "red line".

"Use another word because all the red lines have been crossed and the (Syrians) are disappointed with these words," Abdulrahman Almawwas told reporters in Paris.

"It's time to take real action and not just talk about red lines."

"If we wait for the parties on the ground, then we will wait forever," he said. "We need a real ceasefire and then discuss a political solution when all the guns have shut down."

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