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On Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Douma, dozens of men, women and children were massacred by chemical weapons, in total violation of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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The facts and the responsibility of the Syrian regime are not in any doubt.

The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed.

I have thus ordered the French forces to intervene tonight, as part of an international operation with the United States of America and the United Kingdom, directed against the hidden chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime.

Our response has been limited to hitting the capacities of the Syrian regime that permit the production and use of chemical weapons.

We cannot tolerate the trivialization of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security. This is the direction of the diplomatic initiatives put forward by France at the United Nations Security Council.

From today, France and its partners will renew their efforts at the United Nations to allow the establishment of an international mechanism to establish responsibility, prevent impunity and prevent any recurrence by the Syrian regime.

Since May 2017, the priorities of France in Syria have been constant: End the fight against Daesh [Islamic State], permit access for humanitarian aid to the Syrian civilian populations, to find a political resolution to the conflict so that Syria can finally live at peace, and to ensure the stability of the region.

I will pursue these priorities with determination in the days and weeks to come.

In conformity with Article 35, Line 2 of theĀ Constitution, the Parliament will be informed and a parliamentary debate will be organized, following this decision to use our armed forces in an overseas operation.

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