France President Macron says has 'proof' of Syrian chemical attack, vows response

Brigitte Macron

Macron said France has "proof that last week chemical weapons were used, at least chlorine, and that they were used by Bashar al-Assad's regime".

Assad said that there had been no chemical weapons attack in Idlib, and that the opposition reports were a false flag operation and a fabrication aimed at justifying the U.S. missile strike against the Syrian government airbase.

Mr. Macron said that he would respond "at a time of our choosing, when we judge it to be the most useful and the most effective".

The U.S. and its allies threatened military action after an alleged gas attack by government forces over the weekend that Syrian opposition activists and medics say killed more than 40 people. Later in the day, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the crisis.

In a tweet sent Wednesday morning, Trump warned that missiles would be coming "nice and new and "smart" on Syria, but in a later tweet insisted he "never said" an attack would take place.

The French president, who said he was in daily contact with President Trump, said any strikes would go after Syria's "chemical capabilities".

Trump discussed with Erdogan the situation in Syria
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) and remaining Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

In Russia, Syria's main military ally, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged against "any steps which could lead to an escalation of tensions".

"France will not allow any escalation that could harm the stability of the region as a whole but we can't let regimes that think they can do everything they want, including the worst things that violate global law, to act", Macron said.

There was no official announcement by Damascus that its forces had retaken the town of Douma, located near the capital Damascus, from rebels.

In three separate phone calls, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump all agreed that the global community should work together to make sure Bashar al-Assad's regime is held to account over the attack. Local activists say the main leaders of the group that held it have left, following an agreement between Russian Federation and the rebels.

Mr Assad's government has denies being behind any chemical attack.

President Vladimir Putin said he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise.

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