France Will 'Strike' If Proven Syria Used Chemical Arms: Emmanuel Macron

On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron warned that France would act unilaterally to strike the "source" of any chemical weapons use in Syria, but he said there was still no conclusive proof that chemical weapons had been used by the Damascus regime after it agreed to dismantling its WMD arsenal and eliminating its stockpile of such weapons.

"We will strike the place where these launches are made or where they are organized", Macron told the presidential press corps.

He acknowledged that French intelligence services don't have the necessary proof to this day that "chemical weapons banned by the treaties have been used against civilian populations".

While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.

President Macron promised to bomb factories where chemical weapons are made and "where they are organised" in Syria.

Macron also called for an worldwide meeting on Syria, in the region if possible.

"On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line", Macron told reporters.

Damascus last month also denied carrying out chemical attacks and its ally Moscow denounced such charges as a "propaganda campaign", stressing the perpetrators had not been identified.

'We have some indications of the use of chlorine, but we do not have absolute confirmation, so it is this confirmation work that we are doing with others because obviously we have to establish the facts, ' she said.

According to the report, Russian Federation has used its power of veto five times in favour of the regime, in respect of the chemical weapons file - three times in less than a month to stop the expansion of the mission of the Joint Investigation Mechanism which ended its mandate last November. 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.

The vice-president of the Syria Civil Defence, or "White Helmets", responded on Tuesday, saying France should stop talking about red lines and focus on real action.

  • Tracy Klein