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"France will strike" if proven chemical bombs used in Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he will order strikes in Syria if there is "proven evidence" that President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons against civilians.

Also on Wednesday, Mekdad said the Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria under Turkish attack is "is an integral part of the Syrian territories", adding that they "will never give up one centimeter of these territories".

The Foreign Ministry said in a briefing that Paris is now "assessing whether a chemical of toxic substance has been used" in Syria but this requires "in-depth scientific analysis in a laboratory".

Macron also called for an worldwide meeting on Syria, in the region if possible.

"On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line", Macron told reporters, according to Reuters. He added that is such proof is found, France will strike the places from where the shipments of chemical weapons are originating.

Last week was one of the bloodiest in the Syrian conflict as Syrian government forces, who are backed by Russian Federation and Iran, bombarded two of the last major rebel areas of Syria - Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and the northwestern province of Idlib.

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The Syrian government strongly denies using chemical weapons and says it does not target civilians.

Last week, Defence Minister Florence Parly appeared to cast doubt on the scope of the plan, saying it would "probably not be obligatory".

"We have some indications of the use of chlorine, but we do not have absolute confirmation, so it is this confirmation work that we are doing with others because obviously we have to establish the facts", she said.

Despite repeated USA warnings, the Syrian regime was reported to have used chlorine gas in Idlib Province earlier this month. The Syrian opposition said a government helicopter dropped the bomb on Saraqeb, in the north-western province of Idlib. However, he added that the French intelligence agencies do not possess such proof.

That said, Macron says he has not seen any proof on the attacks, suggesting this isn't going to be used as an idle excuse to justify military intervention.



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