Syria accuses France of backing terrorism
France has slammed Syria’s charge that it is supporting terrorism as “surrealist. On Tuesday Damascus accused Paris of encouraging “terrorists to pursue their massacres in Syria” and hindering efforts to end violence.
"Syria calls on the international community, and in particular the UN Security Council, to seriously question the role of France, which is preventing the cessation of violence and terrorism in Syria," state news agency Sana quoted the foreign ministry as saying.
"The previous and current French governments continue to defy universal rights in a flagrant manner ... by supporting armed terrorist groups in Syria."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has been outspoken in his support for the Syrian opposition, including the Free Syrian Army, which Damascus refers to as “terrorist”.
On 17 October Paris hosted a conference of administrators of “liberated” areas and officials from about 20 countries in order to boost humanitarian aid.
France provided 1.5 million euros of aid to civilian communities in late August but says it has not provided arms to rebel groups.
After the Syrian statement, the French foreign ministry hit back by calling the accusations “surrealist”, adding that they would be “ridiculous if the suffering visited on the Syrian people by [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad and his clan were not so appalling”.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Philippe Lalliot accused the Assad regime of killing 35,000 people, driving 300,000 into exile and forcing a million to quit their homes.
Paris will continue to “denounce the exactions of the Syrian regime” and “help the Syrian people with the same determination”, he said.