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Idlib: "France calls on Russia and Turkey to preserve the de-escalation of violence."

Idlib: "France calls on Russia and Turkey to preserve the de-escalation of violence."

Published on September 4, 2018
Statement issued by French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (September 3, 2018)

France expresses its concern about a potential large-scale offensive by the Syrian regime and its allies against the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Such an offensive would have disastrous consequences. It would lead to a new major humanitarian and migration disaster since it could directly threaten the three million civilians identified by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

As stated by the minister for Europe and foreign affairs, the risk of a chemical attack by the Syrian regime in Idlib cannot be ruled out. Some have embarked on a disinformation campaign aimed at calling into question the Damascus regime’s firmly established responsibility for the chemical attacks against the Syrian population, including the attack in Douma in April. The OPCW/UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) established that the Syrian armed forces were responsible for using chlorine and sarin in at least four cases. The OPCW also published 17 reports confirming the chemical nature of more than 30 attacks in Syria. As President Macron reaffirmed during his speech at the Ambassadors’ Conference on August 27, France will continue to enforce its red line against the use of chemical weapons and will stand ready to take action in the event of proven and lethal use of these weapons. In any case, France will continue to work with its partners to combat impunity for the use of chemical weapons as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria.

France therefore calls on Russia and Turkey to preserve the de-escalation of violence for which they acted as guarantors in this region, with a view, above all, to protecting the civilian populations. We will continue the close dialogue that we have initiated with these two countries, as well as with the other main actors in the Syrian crisis in order to bring about an inclusive, credible and lasting political solution in Syria.

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