Macron: France has Proof Assad's Regime is Behind Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria
Reuters - French President Emmanuel Macron said France has proof the Syrian government was behind the suspected chemical attack last week in Douma, but added that he would decide whether to intervene once all the necessary information had been gathered.
"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.
Macron said French and U.S. officials were "working together very closely, and we will have decisions to take, at the time we choose, when we consider it most useful and most effective."
"We will need to take decisions in due course, when we judge it most useful and effective," Macron said.
Macron said in February this year that “France will strike” if chemical weapons are used against civilians.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the attack with Macron on Thursday, her office said.
Merkel, who spoke with Macron by telephone, told him that she was concerned that the international community's ability to enforce a ban on the use of chemical weapons was eroding.
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 Jaish al-Islam group in Douma agreed on Sunday to withdraw, hours after the suspected chemical weapons attack on the town that has raised the prospect of U.S. strikes. The Syrian government and Russia have called reports of the attack bogus.
"The raised state flag over a building in the town of Douma has heralded the control over this location and therefore over the whole of eastern Ghouta," Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Syria, was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
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