François Fillon says French military action to punish Assad's regime will backfire
An operation that “punishes” Assad’s regime in Syria makes no sense and poses a major risk to neighbouring Lebanon and French interests in the country, declared the former French prime minister François Fillon.
Fillon was invited to speak on a popular news program this morning to discuss his views and thoughts on whether or not France should push ahead with the idea of a military intervention in Syria.
Without the “smallest support from the United Nations” said the former prime minister, France would “pay heavily” if it went ahead with its military plans in Syria.
According to Fillon, both the United States and France are only looking at ways to “punish” the regime for having used chemical weapons on its own people.
“All of this makes no sense: either we make war or we enter into a conflict, or we repeat what we did in Iraq (…) but this idea of symbolically punishing makes no sense” added Fillon.
He came back to the point that whatever is going on in Syria, and any action taken by the regime must be communicated via a Security Council resolution.
“Acting like we are trying to do now ten days after the attack without worrying about the opinions of either the United Nations or our European partners (…) will put us in a situation that will weaken international law” stressed Fillon.
He continued by saying he is not only upset with France but also with other Europeans for not doing their part in pushing Russia to let go of Assad’s regime, saying “France has taken zero initiative outside of basic diplomatic contact”.
The former prime minister believes the current plan poses two risks to France:
“The first risk is aligning ourselves with the United States will prove useless [without UN support]. The second risk is a major one with regards to Lebanon. We have a particular role to play to ensure that Lebanon does not lose its image as a model of cohabitation between the different religions”.
“If we intervene in this war, everyone knows very well that the first target by the Assad regime will be Lebanon, it will be the French UN forces already in Lebanon for years and it will be the French community and the French interests in Lebanon”.