France's Macron urges military intervention if chemical use by Assad proven

FILE PHOTO: Emmanuel Macron of the political movement En Marche ! (Onwards !) attends a prime-time televised debate for the candidates at French 2017 presidential election in La Plaine Saint-Denis, near Paris, France, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Lionel Bonaventure/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) - An U.N.-authorized international military force should intervene in Syria if it is proven that President Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.

“An international intervention is needed ... My preference is that there should be an intervention under the auspices of the United Nations. A military intervention,” Macron, an independent centrist who is favorite to win the election, said in an interview with France 2 television.

Referring to a suspected Syrian government chemical attack that killed scores of people, including children, in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday, Macron said: “If these deeds are confirmed, it is vital to act strongly.”

Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Louise Ireland