France considering strikes on Assad’s chemical facilities – Macron

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LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - JULY 10: French President Emmanuel Macron at the Olympic Musuem on July 10, 2017 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)

France will target the Syrian government’s chemical weapons capabilities if it decides to strike the regime after a suspected chemical attack in an opposition stronghold, President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday.

Speaking after talks with visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Macron said he would decide “in the coming days” on his response, in conjunction with the US and Britain.

“Our decision will not target allies of the regime or attack anyone but rather attack the regime’s chemical capabilities,” he told a press conference, insisting he did “not want an escalation”.

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Macron said France’s information had shown “that chemical weapons were indeed used and that the regime could clearly be held responsible”.

His remarks came as US President Donald Trump prepared to announce whether he would carry out strikes over Saturday’s suspected attack in which at least 40 people are thought to have been killed.

On Monday, Macron promised that the “heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons” would be “met forcefully”.

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Asked Tuesday in Paris if Riyadh could also take part in strikes against the Syrian regime, Prince Mohammad said: “If our alliance with our partners calls for it, we will step up.”

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