‘Unpredictable path’: Le Pen slams Macron’s order to bomb Syria
France’s involvement in coalition strikes against the Syrian government have been denounced by former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who said the bombings set her country on an “unpredictable” path.
The National Front leader, who lost out on the French presidency to Emmanuel Macron in 2017, criticized her former rival’s decision last night to order French aircraft to back coalition airstrikes.
“These strikes against Syria bring us on a path with unpredictable and potentially damaging consequences. France again loses an opportunity to appear on the international stage as an independent and balanced power in the world,” Le Pen said on Twitter.
Ces frappes contre la #Syrie nous engagent dans une voie aux conséquences imprévisibles et potentiellement dramatiques. La France perd à nouveau une occasion d'apparaître sur la scène internationale comme une puissance indépendante et d'équilibre dans le monde. MLP— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) April 14, 2018
On Saturday, Macron confirmed that jets from the Armée de L’Air were part of an operation to strike military targets and suspected stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria. The aerial bombardments, involving the US and UK, were in response to reports of a chemical attack in Douma, allegedly carried out by Assad's forces.
Both Syria and Russia have denied such an attack was carried out by Assad forces. The UN’s chemical weapons watchdog is due to deploy in Douma on Saturday to investigate the reports.
The Syrian government criticised the airstrikes as a “violation of international law.”
“I ordered the French armed forces to intervene tonight, as part of an international operation in coalition with the United States of America and the United Kingdom and directed against the clandestine chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime,” Macron said.
“Our response has been limited to the capabilities of the Syrian regime for the production and use of chemical weapons,” he added. The French government statement mirrors that of the British Ministry of Defence, which stated that a military base outside Homs was identified as a target for a “legal and proportionate force” to attack.
During her presidential run, Marine Le Pen campaigned to boost defense spending, while also advocated scaling back military operations abroad by leaving NATO’s military command, which has seen the nation take part in military operations in Kosovo and Libya.
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