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France - Syria

Assad threatens French interests if Paris takes military action

REUTERS/SANA/Handout
2 min

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad warned that France would face “repercussions" if it took part in military action against his regime in Syria, in an interview published in Tuesday’s French daily, Le Figaro.

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Assad said France, which is prepared to back Washington in threatened military strikes in response to the alleged August 21 chemical attack, should consider the consequences of such action.

On France 24

"Insofar as the policy of the French state is hostile to the Syrian people, the state will be its enemy... There will be repercussions, negative ones of course, on the interests of France."

He also said western military strikes might ignite a "regional war" in the "powder keg" of the Middle East.

"The Middle East is a powder keg, and the fuse is getting shorter," Assad told the newspaper's correspondent in Damascus, in a rare interview with Western media.

"We cannot only talk about a Syrian response, but what could happen after the first strike. Nobody knows what will happen," Assad said.

"Everyone will lose control of the situation once the powder keg explodes. Chaos and extremism will spread. There is a risk of regional war." 

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