French Ex-President Backs Military Response to Alleged Chemical Attack in Syria
AFP 2018 / MARTIN BUREAUEurope16:11 12.04.2018(updated 16:36 12.04.2018) Get short URL302
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Former French President Francois Hollande expressed on Thursday his support to the idea of taking military action as one of the possible responses to the alleged chemical attack on the Syrian city of Douma.
“If there is a chemical weapons attack – there must be a reaction from the international community. I will support any response, including a military one, since what was committed in Syria is inadmissible and should not remain unanswered,” Hollande told France Inter radio.
Earlier in the day, incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron promised to make a decision on whether or not to strike Syria ‘when the time comes’, and promised that Paris would not allow for an “escalation” to take place in the region. He also noted that France had proof that chemical weapons were used “by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.”
READ MORE: Macron Claims to Have Proof of Chemical Weapons Use by Syrian Government
Reports about the chemical weapons attack in Syria emerged on Saturday, claiming that a chlorine-filled bomb dropped by the Syrian military killed up to 70 people. The European Union and the United States have rushed to blame the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the incident.
Damascus has refuted the allegations. The Russian Foreign Ministry said such erroneous information was aimed to cover the actions of terrorists and justify possible external military intervention in Syria. Moscow also called for a thorough investigation into the alleged attack before drawing any conclusions.
In April 2017, France was one of the initiators of a UN Security Council resolution that blamed another suspected gassing of civilians on the Syrian government. Back then the Syrian opposition claimed that about 80 people were killed and about 200 more injured in a chemical weapons attack in Idlib province. Assad said that there had been no chemical weapons attack in Idlib, and that the opposition reports were a false flag operation and a fabrication aimed at justifying the US missile strike against the Syrian government airbase.