France Has No Evidence of Chemical Weapons’ Usage

The French president Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with El Pais (22 June 2017), said that the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is no longer a priority in resolving the Syrian crisis.

“France no longer sees the displacement of Assad as a priority for anything as well as I do not see who could become his legitimate successor,” Macron said.

President Emmanuel Macron (center), in an interview with El Pais. Jean-Christophe Marmara

The French president also called on countries to concentrate on fighting terrorism. He stressed it is necessary to work out an entirely new plans of action in Syria. Special attention, he said, must be paid to the allies of Assad since effectively fighting the threat of terrorism requires the active participation of all the parties — especially Russia.

During the interview, Makron criticized Barack Obama for not keeping promises. Namely, that the former U.S. President had declared a tough response in case Assad would cross the so-called Red Line. “If the evidence of the use of chemical weapons arose,… and we knew who used it and where this weapon came from, France will respond immediately by carrying out airstrikes,” Macron said.

The president of France also hinted that his country is ready to launch air strikes on Syria without U.S. support.

The second question dealt with how the world community could accuse Assad then. Emmanuel Macron stated that there are still no clear reasons for this.

As early as in 2014, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had pointed out an absence of evidence of the Syrian president’s involvement with chemical weapon attacks.

Sophie Mangal is co-editor of Inside Syria Media Center. Read other articles by Sophie.