Proof of Syria chemical weapons attack

Randolph Lopez
April 13, 2018

President Emmanuel Macron of France has said he has "proof" that the Syrian government carried out chemical weapons attack on Douma.

"We have proof that last week. chemical weapons were used, at least with chlorine, and that they were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad", Mr Macron said on a television interview. It prompted global condemnation and the promise of action in response from U.S. President Donald Trump and Macron.

Contrary to the situation in 2013, when French-U.S. plans to strike the Assad regime for using chemical weapons were thwarted by a last-minute decision by then-U.S. president Barak Obama, surgical strikes against Syrian chemical weapon facilities or air bases are now complicated by the military presence of Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, Trump has softened his rhetoric against Russian Federation and Syria, seeming to indicate in a tweet Thursday morning that an attack on Assad's regime was not imminent. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" he said on Twitter.

It comes as the British Prime Minister Theresa May holds a special "war cabinet" to discuss her options.

European Council on Foreign Relations senior policy fellow Julien Barnes-Dacey said it was hard to see how the west could produce a wider strategy for Syria that allows for meaningful impact and limits escalation.

"More fundamentally, there does seem to be some awareness that another round of strikes is unlikely to effective without a wider strategy, which for the moment is sorely lacking".

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The French army is preparing itself for a possible riposte as it waits for the political green light, military sources told Reuters, with several sources underscoring the difficulty of outlining the objectives of such an operation.

Western states are thought to be preparing missile strikes in response to the alleged attack.

That attack in Duma, a rebel-held town in Syria's eastern Ghouta region, left dozens dead, including children.

The rising tension over the Douma attack demonstrates the volatile nature of the Syrian civil war, which started in March 2011 as an uprising against al-Assad, but is now a proxy conflict involving a number of world and regional powers and a myriad of insurgent groups.

Douma was the last major rebel stronghold near Damascus.

First responders said more than 40 people died on Saturday after suffering symptoms consistent with chemical exposure, including wheezing, discoloured skin and foaming at the mouth.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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