France not to act alone on Syria: PM
Iran Press TV
Tue Sep 3, 2013 5:0AM GMT
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says Paris will not act alone in a possible military intervention in Syria, aiming to create a coalition with the US to launch an assault on the Arab country.
"It's not for France to act alone. The president is continuing his work of persuasion to bring together a coalition without delay," Ayrault said on Monday.
Ayrault also accused the Syrian government of carrying out the chemical weapons attack near the capital, Damascus.
He said he had presented a report into the incident, drawn up by the military and foreign intelligence services, to the parliament earlier in the day.
The French premier stated that Paris is “determined to penalize the use of chemical weapons” by Damascus and “to dissuade with a forceful and firm response."
The French President is constitutionally able to order military action without approval from the parliament. However, some lawmakers urged Francois Hollande to put the issue to a vote, as the US Congress is expected to vote on the military action against Syria.
French lawmakers will meet in an extraordinary session on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said if the United States and France decide to attack Syria, "chaos and extremism will spread. The risk of a regional war exists."
On August 21, the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that 1,300 people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.
A number of Western countries, including the US, France, and the UK, were quick to adopt the rhetoric of war against Syria despite the fact that Damascus categorically rejected having had any role in the chemical attack.
The Syrian government announced later that the chemical attack had actually been carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.
On August 29, the British parliament voted against participation by Britain, the United States’ closest ally, in any potential military intervention in Syria. While the British government had primarily sought a second vote in the parliament as well, it ruled out any such vote on September 2, saying that the parliament “has spoken,” and that the government “has absolutely no plans to go back to parliament.”
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