Last remaining seats to the Jpost 2017 Annual Conference! Get your special offer now

France was ready for Syria strike when Obama decided to seek Congress's approval

ByJPOST.COM STAFF
September 29, 2013 22:55

French news paper reports that a swift military strike was scheduled to start strike at 3am August 31.

France's President Francois Hollande and US President Barack Obama at the G8 Summit, 2012.

Barack Obama and Francois Hollande 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

France was ready for a strike on chemical weapons facilities in Syria on the day US President Barack Obama decided to seek approval from Congress for the strike, French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur reported on Sunday.

According to the weekly, French President Francois Hollande called off the strike on August 31, after readying his military for the strike, and preparing to justify it to the French people and the world.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



Rafale fighter jets, armed with Scalp cruise missiles with a range of 250 km, were ready to fire at targets in western Syria, including Damascus, the paper reported. The jets were to attack while flying over international waters in the Mediterranean, avoiding Turkish airspace to prevent Syrian retaliation against its neighbor.

French government officials had statements ready for when the strike starts, and the French intelligence had prepared a declassified report with evidence showing chemical weapons were used on August 21 in Damascus.

The strike was due to start at 3 a.m. on September 1, while everyone are asleep, to minimize civilian casualties, a government official told the paper.

After receiving indications from the Americans that the strike was imminent in the days leading up to the US president's announcement, Obama called Hollande on Saturday August 31 at 6:15 p.m., telling him he had decided to ask for Congress's approval before going ahead with the strike.

Hollande was stunned, the paper reported, and tried to convince Obama to reconsider, but was unsuccessful.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • barack obama
  • Syria
  • United States
  • france
  • francois hollande
  • chemical weapons
  • Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) and Saudi King Salman
    April 25, 2017
    With eyes on Washington, Cairo and Riyadh warm up ties, looks to cooperate

    By BEN LYNFIELD

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 13 - 27
      Beer Sheva
      15 - 23
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 15 - 23
      Jerusalem
      13 - 23
      Haifa
    • 19 - 29
      Elat
      20 - 30
      Tiberias