The French press continues to be dominated by the Syrian crisis this week, as Washington petitions for an imminent strike and Moscow cautions that an intervention would cause an “explosion of terrorism.”
Le Figaro described a decisive moment for U.S. President Barack Obama: while the U.S. Congress must, in the coming days, approve or reject military intervention in Syria, Obama leads an intense campaign to persuade U.S. public opinion and foreign heads of state of the importance of military action in Syria.
Le Monde’s headline reads “Bashar al-Assad denies being responsible for the chemical attack,” reporting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied being behind the chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians on Aug. 21.
In an interview with the U.S. television network CBS, Assad said “there was no evidence that I have used chemical weapons against my people,” reported journalist Charlie Rose, who met with the Syrian president in Damascus.
While Washington has accused the Syrian regime of perpetrating the attack and has threatened Syria with military strikes, Assad replied that “he does not necessarily know if there would be strikes,” but that the Syrians are as prepared as they could be for the possibility of a strike. The Syrian president also sent a caution to Americans, reminding them that their previous experience in wars and conflicts in the Middle East has not fared well for them.
Le Point highlighted the warning from Russian FM Sergie Lavrov that a U.S. strike would cause an “explosion of terrorism” across the region, Lavrov cautioned against intervention, stressing that the Syrian regime was always ready to engage in peace negotiations.