France threatens Syria with repercussions over alleged chemical attack
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, has called upon the international community to respond with force if it is confirmed that the Syrian government has used chemicals weapons against civilians.
Mr Fabius told BFM TV: “There would have to be reaction with force in Syria from the international community, but there is no question of sending troops on the ground.”
The reaction came after the main Syrian opposition group claimed that chemical weapons in the eastern suburb of Damascus killed more than 1,300 people on Wednesday.
The Syrian government, however, has denied the accusations saying that the rebels are only trying to draw international attention to their cause.
The French minister has asked the UN to send chemical weapons experts to inspect the suburb of Damascus and find out if there was, in fact, a chemical weapon incident.
In the meantime, other countries have condemned the alleged attack.
The Turkish government has commented that, “all red lines” have been crossed and that the UN Council is not able to make a decision on the matter. For its part, Germany has asked the government of Bashar al-Assad to allow the chemical weapons experts examine the area.
So far, around 1,300 people have been found dead, but the number is expected to grow. As the Syrian National Coalition spokesman, Khaled Saleh, said: “We expect the number [of dead] to grow because we just discovered a neighbourhood in Zamalka where there are houses full of dead people.”
Assad’s government was already accused of using chemical weapons on several villages in June, before the United States sent military aid to the Syrian rebels.
The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has claimed, however, that the Syrian government wouldn’t have any need to use chemical weapons as it’s already winning all it’s battles in the field. According to Zarif, the rebels are more likely to use chemical weapons in trying to turn the tables in their favour.