Press Esc to close
Wednesday 26 November 2014
News updated at 7:25 PM IST
Weather
Max: 29.1°C
Min : 17°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

France: Military ready to go to Syria if needed

Paris, Aug 2, 2013 (AP):
Head of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad al-Jarba, left, and France's President Francois Hollande, right, walk towards the media at the end of their meeting at the Elysee Palace Thursday Aug. 29, 2013. AP Photo

The French military is ready to commit forces to an operation in Syria if President Francois Hollande decides to do so, the defense minister said today.

But the chief of state, who met with the head of the Syrian opposition, stopped short of announcing military intervention over a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Hollande offered his political and humanitarian support for the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition, but said the group will only be a viable alternative to Syrian President Bashar Assad if it has military credibility and if the international community can stop the spiral of violence.

The United States, France and Britain are believed to be preparing possible military action against Assad's regime after an apparent poison gas attack in Syria on Aug 21.
UN experts are currently in Syria investigating the attack.


"The Armed Forces are in a position to respond to the requests and the decisions of the president once he reaches that point" of committing French forces to an international intervention in Syria, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
Hollande does not need French parliamentary approval to launch any military action that lasts less than four months.

Hollande, who has spoken out strongly against Assad's government, today stressed the importance of a political solution and making the Syrian opposition a stronger alternative, notably with increased firepower.

Hollande said he told Syrian opposition leader Ahmad al-Jarba that "France will offer all its help. Its political help, its support, as it we have for months. But also its humanitarian, material aid."

"Everything must be done to reach a political solution, but that will not happen unless the coalition is capable of appearing as an alternative, with necessary force, notably its army," Hollande said.

"We will only achieve this if the international community is capable of bringing a stop to this escalation of violence, of which the chemical massacre is just one illustration."
A French official said the aim of any French action would be to shock Assad's government into understanding that they cannot use chemical weapons. Assad blames the poison gas attack on the opposition.

The official, who spoke on condition because he was discussing sensitive military issues, said the goal was not to launch a war. Al-Jarba, speaking alongside Hollande, said "this crime will not go unpunished."

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
It is business as usual in Leopold Cafe on the eve of the anniversary ...

It is business as usual in Leopold Cafe on the eve of the anniversary ...

England's captain Alastair Cook (R) talks with his teammate Ravi Bopara...

England's captain Alastair Cook (R) talks with his teammate Ravi Bopara...

Models pose with a car during the inauguration of the Lamborghini showroom...

Models pose with a car during the inauguration of the Lamborghini showroom...

Women from the Delhi police force, undergo martial arts training...

Women from the Delhi police force, undergo martial arts training...

Indian tennis player Sania Mirza blows whistle to joins campaign...

Indian tennis player Sania Mirza blows whistle to joins campaign...

Children rights activist Baburaj, Good Sheperd High School headmistress ...

Children rights activist Baburaj, Good Sheperd High School headmistress ...

A Sun Bird sits on a branch of Jacaranda flower tree...

A Sun Bird sits on a branch of Jacaranda flower tree...

BJP MP'S meeting in Parliament house...

BJP MP'S meeting in Parliament house...

Bipasha Basu and Milind Soman at Pinkathon announcement

Bipasha Basu and Milind Soman at Pinkathon announcement

Modi with BJP leaders at an election rally in Jharkhand

Modi with BJP leaders at an election rally in Jharkhand

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523