A French military plane
20 April 2018

France's four aims regarding Syria

Following the air strikes, conducted jointly with its allies in Syria in the early hours of 14 April, France is now pursuing four aims in terms of security, dismantling Syria's chemical arsenal, delivering humanitarian aid and working together with all the stakeholders.
The objectives of the military strikes over Syria, decided by the President of the Republic in response to the chemical attack perpetrated by the Syrian regime in Douma on 7 April, have been met. Such has been the consequence of the red line – drawn on 29 May 2017 – being crossed.

In the days and weeks ahead, France will be devoting efforts to meeting four crucial aims:
  • First, security. France has an enemy in Syria, and that is Isis. This organisation has still not been defeated. At the same time, Al-Qaeda's resilience and ability to forge tactical alliances with local groups, coupled with a persisting international agenda, mean that they pose a credible threat.
  • Second, on the chemical front, France vows to continue striving for full dismantlement of Syria's chemical arsenal pursuant to the resolutions of the United Nations (UN) Security Council. France is proposing to create a new independent investigative mechanism for identifying those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. It is shortly expected to recommend a meeting of the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, launched in January and which four more countries have since joined.
  • In humanitarian terms, at a meeting with non-governmental organisations on the ground, the President of the Republic pledged an exceptional €50m contribution in urgent aid for Syria. Several priority areas for intervention have been identified: assistance for displaced people, health, civil protection and provision of basic services.
  • Finally, on the political side of things, France fully intends to continue working with all of the countries directly involved in this crisis, including those supporting the Syrian regime. The thrusts underpinning France's approach are known: push on with international counterterrorism efforts, particularly the campaign against Isis; combat chemical proliferation in Syria; implement the cessation of hostilities, under Resolution 2401 of the UN Security Council, to enable humanitarian aid operations to resume, and particularly guarantee access for the Syrian population to humanitarian assistance and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded; and reopen the negotiations held in Geneva under the auspices of the UN, within the framework laid down by Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council. This entails confidence-building measures and setting in motion a negotiated process for drafting a new constitution and holding free and fair elections.

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