France will back the United States on intervention in Syria, though Great Britain will not. French President Francois Hollande made the announcement to French daily paper Le Monde.
The decision is a big change from the war in Iraq when Britain stood next to the US and France took to the sidelines. The decision made about 10 years ago resulted in things like french fries being renamed “freedom fries” in the US.
But it appears that this time is different. The Los Angeles Times reports that Hollande explained in the interview, “The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished.”
The French president also appeared to brush off Britain’s decision not to join in the operation, saying, “Every country is sovereign in deciding whether or not to participate in an operation.”
France and Germany have been among the most vocal opponents of military intervention in Iraq. However, it appears that is not the case this time. While Germany will stick to the sidelines in the Syria strike, France will not, notes The New York Times.
The decision comes as UN inspectors in Syria left the site of a reported chemical weapons attack that happened on August 21. According to US reports, more than 1,400 people were killed in the attack, including more than 400 children.
While a strike in Syria would be seen as punishment for the use of chemical weapons, it will likely not change the tide in the bloody civil war, which began on March 2011.
France and Britain have long supported involvement in Syria. Because of this, it is surprising that Britain’s Parliament voted not to participate in any military strikes. British Prime Minister David Cameron in the past joined President Hollande in pushing President Obama to be more bold in Syria.
Their requests included arming the rebels, considering a no-fly zone, and striking hard in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack. But Carmeron’s words were overruled by Parliament. If the United States decides to launch an attack on Syria, it is likely France will participate.
[Image by Matthieu Riegler via Wikimedia Commons]