France could hit Syria chemical facilities in air strikes, Macron warns

France could hit Syria chemical facilities in air strikes, Macron warns
France could target Syria's chemical facilities in response to a deadly gas attack on an opposition town Paris says was almost certainly carried out by the Assad regime.
2 min read
10 April, 2018
France has warned it could launch air strikes on Syria [AFP]

Syria's chemical facilities could be targeted in mooted air strikes, in response to a toxic gas attack on an opposition town near Damascus that left at least 40 civilians dead.

President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that it would decide on a response to the chemical attack with the US and UK "in the coming days".

"Our decision will not target allies of the regime or attack anyone but rather attack the regime's chemical capabilities," he said, following a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Russia has warned it will retaliate against a US-led coalition if air strikes kills its troops based in the country.

Macron insisted France did "not want an escalation", following fears of a new crisis between Russia and the West over potential strikes in Syria.

But Washington and its allies appear adamant a response must be made to Saturday night's attack in Douma.

Macron said French intelligence had shown "that chemical weapons were indeed used and that the regime could clearly be held responsible".

He has also warned that France must do its bit if military action is taken.

US President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement in the coming day or two about whether strikes will be launched on Syrian regime positions.

Trump met with Qatar Emir Tamim al-Thani on Tuesday with suggestions Doha could also be involved in strikes.

Gulf rival Saudi Arabia has also signalled it could take part in strikes.

Prince Mohammad told the press conference: "If our alliance with our partners calls for it, we will step up."