French president Emmanuel Macron has said “a red line” had been crossed after the chemical weapons attack in Douma.
He spoke following the air strikes carried out by the US in conjunction with France and the UK on targets in Syria.
Mr Macron issued the following statement:
“On Saturday 7 April 2018, in Douma, dozens of men, women and children were massacred with chemical weapons, in a total violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.
The facts and the responsibility of the Syrian regime are beyond doubt.
The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed.
I therefore ordered the French armed forces to intervene tonight, as part of an international operation in coalition with the United States of America and the United Kingdom and directed against the clandestine chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime.
Our response has been limited to the capabilities of the Syrian regime relating to the production and use of chemical weapons.
We cannot tolerate the trivialization of the use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and for our collective security.
This is the aim of the initiatives constantly put forward by France to the United Nations Security Council.
Since May 2017, the priorities of France in Syria have been constant: to end the fight against Daesh, to allow the civilian population to access humanitarian aid, to initiate a collective dynamic to reach a political settlement, so that Syria finally find peace and ensure the stability of the region.
I will pursue these priorities with determination in the days and weeks to come.”