French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday that the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar Al-Assad regime was “clearly documented” and there must be “a sanction” to prevent further such violations and “crimes against humanity.” Speaking on “France Info” radio, Fabius said that moving to sanction Al-Assad with a military action “was not an easy decision to take” but was clearly justified and motivated because of the nature of the attack on two suburbs in Damascus on August 21. As many as 1,429 people may have died in those attacks.
France on Monday released intelligence documents that sought to demonstrate a “massive” and “coordinated” chemical attack by the Syrian regime two weeks ago, but Syria denies involvement.
The French parliament is due, later Wednesday, to debate but not to vote on a strike against Syrian forces and the decision of President Francois Hollande to take part in such a military strike.
The French leader has said that “France is ready to punish” those behind the use of chemical weapons.
While so far refusing calls for a parliamentary vote on military action, Hollande is waiting for a decision in the US Congress after September 9 on whether to use force against Al-Assad’s regime.