Sunday, 20 October, 2019

US, France and United Kingdom discuss gas attack response

Macron takes to airwaves amid rail strikes Syria crisis Macron takes to airwaves amid rail strikes Syria crisis
Russell Knight | 12 April, 2018, 09:30

Many French officials still bristle over former United States president Barack Obama's last-minute pullback on Syria strikes after a chemical attack in 2013. At least 60 people were killed in the attack, according to a Syrian relief agency.

"We will continue exchanges of technical and strategic information with our partners in particular Britain and America, and in the coming days we will announce our decision", the French president said Tuesday.

"Since the start of the conflict in Yemen, France has adopted a very specific process whereby all sales of military equipment are analysed on a case-by-case basis and on the basis of reinforced criteria that reflect respect for global humanitarian law and the risk of harm to civilian populations", said Macron.

Last week the Baltic presidents met with U.S. President Donald Trump.

President Emmanuel Macron said France, the USA and Britain will decide how to respond in the coming days. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took a more measured tone, saying the US and its military coalition partners were still studying intelligence on the attack. That strike did not appear to have had the desired effect of deterring Assad from further use of chemical agents.

Trump says missiles 'will be coming' to Syria
We tried diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, and believed it led to tangible results that turned out to be less than ideal. The World Health Organisation on Wednesday demanded "immediate" access to the victims of the alleged chemical attack.

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This, combined with gusty winds of 60 km/h expected, could result in power outages from falling tree limbs and power lines. "A fast-moving low pressure system will cross southern Ontario Thursday bringing an area of rain with it".

Speaking after talks with visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Macron said he would decide "in the coming days" on his response, in conjunction with the USA and Britain. Second, we are strengthening our diplomatic action for the prohibition of chemical weapons. Under a 2013 agreement for which Russian Federation was a guarantor, Syria was to have eliminated all its chemical weapons, but it has used chlorine and perhaps other chemicals since then.

In the event France decides to strike Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces in the city of Douma, it is more likely to launch the attack from an airbase located on its mainland rather than from its bases in the Middle East, Le Figaro reported on Wednesday.

Against such odds, "a show of France-US unity on Syria surely can't do any harm" during Macron's Washington visit, he said.

Former prime minister Manuel Valls and Socialist Party head Olivier Faure said the separation of church and state must remain a mainstay of political life, in a country where public service employees are banned from wearing Muslim veils and other dress with religious connotation.

Assad said on Tuesday that his government had invited a mission from an worldwide chemical weapons watchdog to Douma to investigate the alleged attack. It was not immediately clear whether that visit would delay or avert US or allied military action.

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