Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger : Top Oppostion figure to be questioned in baby trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call back

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000

Read more

WEB NEWS

'Ice Bucket Challenge' angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

#TECH 24

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Read more

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

Americas

France to present Syria nerve gas ‘evidence’

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-02

The French government is due to present evidence to senior lawmakers it says proves that Bashar al-Assad’s Damascus regime used sarin gas in a deadly attack which has prompted calls for military intervention. Watch live at 7:30pm.

FRANCE 24 will broadcast French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's announcement at 7:30pm Paris time (GMT+2).

 
 

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was due Monday to present evidence to senior lawmakers that the Syrian regime was responsible for a devastating chemical weapons attack that has prompted the US and western allies, including France, to consider military action.

The move comes as US President Barack Obama is lobbying Congress to back strikes, and follows the British parliament’s rejection of participating in joining any military action.

French government sources said evidence proving the regime's involvement in the attack would be provided to top lawmakers at a meeting with Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault at 5pm Paris time (GMT+2).

"It will be a set of evidence of different kinds that will allow the regime to be clearly identified as responsible for the August 21 chemical attack," a senior government source said.

"We are going to give the MPs everything we have – classified until now – to enable every one of them to take on board the reality of the unacceptable attack," Mr Ayrault said on Monday.

The French parliament is to hold a debate Wednesday on taking action on Syria, where more than 110,000 people have been killed in violence since an uprising against the regime began in March 2011.

Hollande has vowed to "punish" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the alleged gas attack, which Washington claims killed more than 1,400 people.

The French president can order military action without parliamentary approval but some lawmakers have urged Hollande to put the issue to a vote.

France stands by US

Public opinion in both France and the US is deeply sceptical and in a surprise move Obama put off threatened missile strikes, saying he would first seek approval from Congress first.

That pushed back any US-led military action until at least September 9, when US lawmakers return from their summer break.

Obama and other top administration have been lobbying individual members of Congress, telling them Washington had proof the Damascus regime used sarin gas in the attack.

A Syrian security official told AFP that the country's army was still on alert, even if the threat of an imminent strike had receded.

"American aggression against Syria, if it happens, is a form of support to terrorism.... The army is on alert and will remain so until terrorism is completely eradicated," the official said.

Russia and China warn against strikes

Moscow, which alongside China has blocked any attempts to sanction the Syrian regime at the United Nations Security Council, said it remained totally unconvinced that the Assad regime carried out the attack, warning that Western military action would sink efforts to organise a peace conference in Geneva aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict.

"If the action announced by the US president – to the great regret of all of us – does in fact take place... it will put off the chances of (holding) this conference for a long time, if not forever," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

China meanwhile said it was "gravely concerned" about the prospect of "unilateral military actions" against Syria, saying no measures should be taken until it was clear who, if anyone, had used chemical weapons in the country.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-09-02

  • SYRIA

    Syria capable of confronting attack, says Assad

    Read more

  • USA - SYRIA

    US has evidence of sarin gas use in Syria, says Kerry

    Read more

  • USA - SYRIA

    Obama seeks Congress vote on Syria military strikes

    Read more

COMMENT(S)