Macron: France has 'proof' Assad used chemical weapons

A child injured in shelling seen in a hospital in Douma Eastern Ghouta Syria. Mohammed Badra  EPA

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that President Emmanuel Macron would decide whether to launch an attack over the "non-respect of the global convention against chemical weapons", which is a "red line" for France.

President Macron declared yesterday that he was certain that Syrian forces had used chlorine gas against civilians, but he appeared to hesitate over committing France to a military response.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday a decision on whether to carry out military strikes on Syrian chemical weapons' facilities would be made in the coming days after more consultations with the United States and Britain.

In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would not participate in any military strike on Syria.

Asked in a TV interview whether France would join strikes on Syria, he said, "We will need to take decisions in due course, when we judge it to be most useful and effective", according to Agence France Presse.

With increasing concerns about a U.S. -Russia proxy war in Syria, Macron insisted that "France will not allow an escalation or something that could damage the stability" of the region.

Macron said France wanted to remove the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capabilities. Mr Trump rowed back on that threat on Thursday, however, tweeting "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

On Tuesday, a US -drafted resolution on a new mechanism investigating chemical weapons use in Syria was vetoed by Russian Federation, whose draft resolution for the same objective failed to win majority support in the council.

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Russian Federation vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria.

It was the first public acknowledgement by Jaish al-Islam of a deal reached for Douma, their last rebel holdout in the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus.

The U.S. and its allies have threatened to respond militarily to the alleged chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed at least 40 people, many of them children, in the town of Douma, near the capital Damascus.

May has indicated she wants Britain to join in any USA -led strikes in response to the suspected attack near Damascus.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said parliament should be consulted before May approves military action.

Amid the talk of military action, the Kremlin, a close ally of Assad, countered that more "serious approaches" were needed to combat the crisis.

He said the Syria situation was "very dangerous" and the immediate priority would be to "avert the possibility of war". Syria has denied carrying out such an attack.

There was no immediate confirmation or indication from Assad's government that Syrian troops entered Douma on Thursday.

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