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France has proof Assad regime used chemical weapons - Macron

13 April 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron says his country has evidence that Syria attacked the town of Douma with chemical weapons last weekend.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday said France has proof the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack and would decide whether to strike back when all the necessary information has been gathered. He didn't elaborate on exactly what that proof is.

Macron confirmed that he had talked to U.S. President Donald Trump on the matter.

President Trump has sent mixed messages on the US response, warning Russian Federation in a tweet Wednesday to "get ready" for USA missile strikes in Syria in retaliation for the attack. Trump tweeted Thursday: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" Later in the day, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the crisis.

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Macron said France wanted to remove the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capabilities. "I say that as a friend of the United States and as a friend of the United Kingdom".

"More fundamentally, there does seem to be some awareness that another round of strikes is unlikely to effective without a wider strategy, which for the moment is sorely lacking".

Moscow, which offers military support to the Syrian regime, has warned of a possible Russian response to a USA attack.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged against "any steps which could lead to an escalation of tensions".

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has said 500 patients were treated for symptoms of exposure to toxic chemicals.

The Jaish al-Islam group in Douma agreed on Sunday to withdraw, hours after the suspected chemical weapons attack on the town that has raised the prospect of US strikes.

It was the first public acknowledgement by Jaish al-Islam of a deal reached for Douma, their last rebel holdout in the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus.

Mr Assad's government has denies being behind any chemical attack. "Our teams work closely together", he said.

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France has proof Assad regime used chemical weapons - Macron