French President Macron Threatens to Strike Syria if Chemical Attacks Proven

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Macron vows Syria strike if chemical weapons used

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he would not rule out France building new nuclear reactors to replacing state-controlled utility EDF's ageing reactors.

"We will strike the place where these launches are made or where they are organised", he told reporters. "At this stage we don't have established proof by our military or from our intelligence services that banned substances have been used against Syrian populations".

"As soon as such proof is established, I will do what I said".

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Regarding the Syrian regime itself, either during or after the conflict; "it will be answerable to worldwide justice" he added.

Macron spoke by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday and urged him to call on the Assad regime to "put an end to the unsustainable deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib".

Last week, addressing the matter of Syria's chemical weapons' use, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said "all indications" suggested that government forces used chlorine weapons against rebel forces throughout the civil war, although cautiously added that they "hadn't completely documented that".

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Receiving Putin at Versailles in May 2017, Macron had declared that France would respond immediately to any use of chemical weapons in Syria. Former US President Barack Obama set out a red line for Syria in 2012, when he warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that the use, or even the movement, of chemical weapons would trigger US military reprisals.

His comments follow numerous reports of suspected chlorine attacks in Syria since early January. He says a military response is on the table if investigators uncover evidence of a recent sarin attack.

But Defense Minister Florence Parly was more reserved on February 9 when asked if Damascus had crossed the "red line".

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