Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Macron has 'proof', to decide on Syria air strikes

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Deanna Wagner | 13 April, 2018, 03:06

France says it can prove the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians last weekend.

"We have proof that last week. chemical weapons were used, at least chlorine, and that they were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad", Macron said during a television interview. He didn't elaborate on exactly what that proof is.

Meanwhile, Trump tweeted a clarification saying he had never said when the U.S. would attack Syria.

Germany will not join any military strikes against the Syrian government in response to a poison gas attack on an opposition enclave, but supports Western efforts to show that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, Merkel said.

The sources said if France were to attack, the strikes would most likely come from warplanes rather than its naval frigate off the Lebanese coast, and that they would likely to take off from France rather than its Middle East bases. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Both the Syrian regime and its main worldwide backers Russian Federation and Iran have denied responsibility for the alleged chemical attack and insist "there is a Western conspiracy" aimed at justifying military action in Syria.

With increasing concerns about a U.S. -Russia proxy war in Syria, Macron insisted that "France will not allow an escalation or something that could damage the stability" of the region.

Douma was the last major rebel stronghold near Damascus.

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President Vladimir Putin said he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said its fact-finding team is en route to Syria to start work April 14. "In any event, the United States, under my administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS".

Sir John Sawyers, the former head of MI6, called for a much more punitive and targeted attack on Syria than the operation authorised by Mr Trump a year ago against a Syrian airbase.

"North Atlantic Treaty Organisation considers the use of chemical weapons a threat to worldwide peace and security, and those responsible must be held accountable". He spoke during a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to the supreme leader of his ally, Iran.

The Syrian president added that the threats endanger global peace and security and that military action would only contribute to the "further destabilization" of the region.

Senior Russian figures have warned that missiles threatening the country's forces in Syria will be shot down and their launch sites targeted.

There was no immediate confirmation or indication from Assad's government that Syrian troops entered Douma on Thursday.