French President Emmanuel Macron: We have proof Syria used chlorine

Apr 13, 2018, 06:23 IST | Agencies

French prez says he will decide 'in due course' whether to sign off strikes

Emmanuel Macron has said any use of chemical weapons would  be a 'red line'. Pics/AFP
Emmanuel Macron has said any use of chemical weapons would  be a 'red line'. Pics/AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he would respond to "proof" that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons, "at a time of our choosing." "We have proof that chemical weapons were used last week, at least chlorine, and that they were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad," Macron said during an interview on France's TF1 television.

Macron added that he was in daily contact with US President Donald Trump and that they would decide on their response "at a time of our choosing, when we judge it to be the most useful and the most effective." The French leader, who had made the use of chemical weapons in Syria a "red line", said one of his aims in Syria was to "remove the regime's chemical attack capabilities".

But, he repeated that he wanted to also avoid "an escalation". "France will in no way allow an escalation or anything that would harm regional stability, but we cannot allow regimes that believe they can act with impunity to violate international law in the worst possible way."

Donald Trump. Pic/AFP

Shun military action: Carter to Trump
Expressing pride in his own record of peace, former President Jimmy Carter has warned that President Donald Trump should steer clear of any military action involving Syria or other world hot spots and avoid a nuclear attack at all costs. "I pray that he would keep our country at peace and not exaggerate or exacerbate the challenges that come up with North Korea, in Russia or in Syria," Carter said.

Attack 'could be very soon or not so soon'
President Donald Trump was evasive about when the US might attack Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons assault, saying it could be "very soon or not so soon at all!" A day after warning starkly that "missiles will be coming," Trump in another morning tweet wrote: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" Trump's new tweet seemed to backtrack from the bellicose one of Wednesday in which he suggested to Syria and its ally Russia that a US attack over the alleged chemical weapons assault on civilians was all but imminent.

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