France will strike Syria if use of chemical weapons proven

France will strike Syria if use of chemical weapons proven

France will strike Syria if use of chemical weapons proven

Macron, in a meeting with the Presidential Press Association, reiterated his threat of several months ago to take "unilateral" military action against the Syrian army and warned of a "riposte" if it is proven that chemical weapons are still being used in that conflict.

Speaking to reporters at Elysee Palace, Macron said the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria is France's "red line". "Today, our agencies, our armed forces have not established that chemical weapons, as set out in treaties, have been used against the civilian population." .

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

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

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Receiving Putin at Versailles in May 2017, Macron had declared that France would respond immediately to any use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Syrian government in late January denied carrying out chemical weapons attacks and its ally Moscow denounced the charges as a "propaganda campaign", stressing that the perpetrators had not been identified.

United Nations investigators determined the Syrian government was behind a deadly sarin gas attack in April that killed almost 100 people. Critics who accuse Macron of inaction say he has not given a clear definition of whether use of chlorine would for him constitute a chemical attack.

Macron said he remained committed to reducing France's carbon emissions and his promise to close coal-fired plants but did not detail how he would go about reducing the share of nuclear energy in French powergeneration.

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