Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Seven African countries' economies at risk over Brexit decision

Read more

THE DEBATE

Britain votes out: What next?

Read more

#TECH 24

The 'fintech' revolution

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A certified 'palace': How hotels strive for excellence

Read more

#THE 51%

In her own image: Women in Art

Read more

REPORTERS

World War I: When northern France was on German time

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Ugandan city still scarred by Lord's Resistance Army atrocities

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#Brexit sparks a storm on social media

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Markets, pound plunge on Brexit vote

Read more

Europe

France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

© Daniel Leal-Olivas, AFP I A Syrian rebel fighter holds his weapon high.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2014-08-21

President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.”

The deliveries took place “a few months ago, when the Syrian rebels had to face both the armies of the dictator Bashar al-Assad and this terrorist group Islamic State,” Hollande told reporters on a tour of the French island of La Reunion.

“We cannot leave the only Syrians who are preparing a democracy ... without weapons,” he added.

What is happening currently in Syria is “terrible,” he said. “On one side, the state of Bashar al-Assad which continues to crush and massacre, (on the other) Islamic State, and, in the middle, those who were supposed to lay the ground for the future, caught in a pincer movement.”

“So we should not stop the support that we have given to these rebels who are the only ones to take part in the democratic process,” said the president.

Nevertheless France cannot “go it alone”, stressed Hollande, adding there was “a good understanding with Europe and the Americans.”

Hollande had said in an interview with Le Monde daily published on Wednesday that France had shipped “material that conformed with European commitments” without offering further details.

He added in that interview that the international community bore a “heavy responsibility” for what is happening in Syria, with its knock-on effects in Iraq.

“If, two years ago, we had acted to ensure a transition, we wouldn’t have had Islamic State.

“If, one year ago, the major powers had reacted to the use of chemical weapons, we wouldn’t have had this terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist group,” adding that the rebels “deserve all our support”.

(AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-08-21

  • SYRIA

    Dozens of jihadists killed in air raids in Syria

    Read more

  • USA - SYRIA

    Obama seeks $500m to train, equip ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels

    Read more

  • FRANCE - SYRIA

    French father brings teenage son home from Syria jihad

    Read more

COMMENT(S)