France aims to relaunch Syria peace process after ‘legitimate’ strikes


France wants to start working “right now” on resuming the political process aimed at ending the conflict in Syria, officials said Saturday after Western powers carried out what it called “legitimate” military strikes against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

“A plan for ending the crisis must be found, with a political solution. We are ready to start working right now with all countries who want to participate,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said at a press conference.

Speaking alongside Defense Minister Florence Parly, he said the strikes carried out overnight by France, Britain and the US were “legitimate” in retaliation for the suspected chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held Syrian enclave of Douma last week.

“A chemical escalation in Syria is not acceptable,” Le Drian said, calling the strikes “proportional and targeted.”

Parly said the Western powers targeted “the main research center” and two production sites of “a clandestine chemical program” operated by the Syrian government.

“We’ve hit their capacity to develop, perfect and produce chemical weapons,” Parly said.
“The goal is simple: stop the regime from using chemical weapons again,” she said.

France provided warships in the Mediterranean Sea as well as sending in fighter jets stationed at bases in France.

“These carried out coordinated cruise missile strikes… in tight coordination with our American and British allies,” Parly said.

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