Syria has reached 'point of no return' over chemical attacks: France

Francois Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations (UN), at the UN Security Council meeting on Syria at the UN headquarters in New York, US, on April 13, 2018.
Francois Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations (UN), at the UN Security Council meeting on Syria at the UN headquarters in New York, US, on April 13, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - France warned Friday (April 13) that Syria's government had reached a "point of no return" by using chemical weapons and vowed to confront the "intolerable threat" of such attacks to global security.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre told a Security Council meeting that world powers must respond to the threat of repeated use of toxic gas as a weapon in Syria's war.

By "deciding once again to sue chemical weapons" in the rebel-held town of Douma, "the regime has reached a point of no-return," Delattre said.

"France will shoulder its responsibility to end an intolerable threat to our collective security," he said. "We must cease the chemical weapons escalation in Syria."

The United States is consulting with Britain and France about a joint military response to the attack in Douma that medics and rescuers said killed at least 40 people on Saturday (April 7).

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said no decision had been taken on military action and stressed the importance of carefully assessing the implications.

Russia and Syria have denied that a chemical attack took place and said video footage and photographs were staged by President Bashar al-Assad's opponents.