USA er skuffet over at Frankrike vil levere krigsskip til Russland. Men det samme Frankrike beskylder USA for unnfallenhet overfor Assad-regimet.
Da utenriksminister Laurent Fabius var i Washington forrige uke, kritiserte han Obama-administrasjonen for ikke å ha bombet Syria som straff for det kjemiske angrepet på Dahouta-distriktet i Damaskus 21. august.
Fabius sa Frankrike sto klar til å delta i en alliansen ledet av USA for å bombe Syria.
Nå har det kommet bevis på at Assad fortsetter bruken av kjemiske våpen, denne gang med bruk av klor. Det er på linje med tønnebombene Assad tømmer i hodene på sivile syrer. Assad tar det som finnes for hånden.
At Fabius åpent bringer disse opplysingene til torgs stiller Obama i forlegenhet. Obama holdt en stor tale etter 21. august der han sa visse krigsforbrytelser er så grusomme at verdenssamfunnet ikke kan tillate dem. Så fikk han betenkeligheter og trakk seg. Alle nye bevis på at Assad fortsetter med ukonvensjonelle våpen, tærer på Obamas troverdighet.
There were also signs of disarray within the Western coalition on Tuesday as France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, expressed regret that the Obama administration had decided against using force after a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area last Aug. 21 that Western nations, led by the United States, blamed on forces loyal to President Assad.
Though an American military strike was called off when Syria agreed to give up its chemical weapons, Mr. Fabius said there were “indications” that Syria had since waged 14 chemical attacks.
“Right now, we are examining the samples that were taken,” he told reporters.
France, Mr. Fabius indicated, had been prepared to use force last year as part of an American-led coalition, but had not wanted to act alone. Had such a military strike been carried out, Mr. Fabius said, “we feel that it would have changed many things.”
While France had previously indicated its chagrin over the Obama administration’s military pullback on Syria, it was unusual for France’s top diplomat to speak so frankly about it — in Washington no less, after a meeting with his American counterpart, Mr. Kerry.
Mr. Fabius’s assertions of chemical weapons use, most of them involving chlorine bombs, came as other signs pointed to Syrian government culpability. Human Rights Watch, in a report on Tuesday, said it had evidence that Mr. Assad’s forces had dropped chlorine-filled bombs from helicopters on three towns in northern Syria in April. The chemical weapons treaty that Syria signed last year prohibits using chlorine as a weapon, even though chlorine itself is not banned.
The State Department had no comment on Mr. Fabius’s assertions of chemical attacks, saying the matter was being investigated by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly I. Churkin, likewise urged patience until the investigation was finished.
Western officials have said in recent weeks that they were aware of reports that the use of chlorine might have occurred more than a dozen times.