France says regrets Obama failed to attack Syria

Obama had threatened U.S. strikes on Syrian regime facilities if President Bashar al-Assad crossed a red line by using toxic weapons on his own people. (AFP)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius voiced Tuesday France’s regrets that President Barack Obama had failed to carry out threatened U.S. strikes on the Syrian regime as punishment for a Sarin gas attack near Damascus in August in which hundreds died.

Obama had threatened U.S. strikes on Syrian regime facilities if President Bashar al-Assad crossed a red line by using toxic weapons on his own people. But in the end the US leader walked away from carrying out such a targeted attack.

"We regret it because we think it would have changed lots of things ... but what is done is done, and we're not going to rewrite history," Fabius, who is on an official visit to Washington, told a press conference.

He also said the Syrian regime is believed to have used chemical weapons including chlorine in 14 attacks since late 2013.

"We have credible witnesses for the use, at least 14 uses... of chemical agents since October 2013," he said.

While Assad has handed over some 92 percent of his chemical weapons stockpile for destruction, "we have lots of elements which lead us to believe that a certain number of these chemical weapons have been hidden," Fabius said.

The 14 reported incidents showed that "in recent weeks, new, smaller quantities of chemical arms have been used, mainly chlorine," he said, adding that France was currently examining the evidence.

(AFP)
 

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
Top