Press TV – President Emmanuel Macron says if the use of chemical weapons against civilians is proven in Syria, “France will strike” while noting that no proof of such an action has been presented.
“On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line…If we have proven evidence that chemical weapons proscribed in treaties are used, we will strike the place where they are made,” he said on Tuesday.
“Today, our agencies, our armed forces have not established that chemical weapons, as set out in treaties, have been used against the civilian population,” he added.
Macron also noted that he had recently discussed the topic of chemical weapons use in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Friday phone conversation.
“I’ve reiterated it to President Putin, asking to make it very clear to the Syrian regime, which has reaffirmed that it does not use chemical weapons … but we are watching it,” Macron stated.
On Friday, France’s defense minister also noted that there is no proof that the Syrian government has used the chemical agent chlorine in the country.
“We have some indications of possible chlorine use [in Syria], but we have no absolute confirmation,” said Florence Parly on Friday.
In January, pro-militant sources in Syria, the White Helmets and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed that the Syrian government had used chlorine gas against militants in northwestern Syria.
The US and UK raised the issue at the UN Security Council on February 6, but the Syrian envoy rejected the allegations as “false and cheap.”
Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in early 2011, the Western governments have on several occasions accused Syria of using chemical weapons against militants. Damascus has denied the allegation, saying it is meant to pile more pressure on the government forces and delay their success in the fight against terrorists.
The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry.