PM: No solo French attack on Syria

PM: No solo French attack on Syria
Tue Sep 3, 2013 10:12:52

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says France will not act alone in a possible military intervention in Syria.

"It's not for France to act alone. The president is continuing his work of persuasion to bring together a coalition without delay," Ayrault said on Monday.

Ayrault also accused the Syrian government of carrying out the chemical weapons attack near the capital, Damascus.

He claimed that he had presented a report into the incident, which was drawn up by the military and foreign intelligence services, to the parliament earlier in the day.

The French premier added that Paris is “determined to penalize the use of chemical weapons” by Damascus and “to dissuade with a forceful and firm response."

The French president is constitutionally able to order military action without approval from the parliament. However, some lawmakers urged Francois Hollande to put the issue to a vote, as the US Congress is expected to vote on the military action against Syria.

French lawmakers will meet in an extraordinary session on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said if the United States and France decide to attack Syria, "chaos and extremism will spread. The risk of a regional war exists."

On August 21, the foreign-backed militants operating inside Syria and the Syrian opposition claimed that 1,300 people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.

However, Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the chemical attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.


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