April 14, 2018 / 3:52 PM / 2 months ago

France says Syria's capacity to produce chemical weapons considerably weakened

PARIS (Reuters) - The capacity of the Syrian regime to produce and store chemical weapons has been “considerably weakened” after the air strikes conducted by the French, U.S and British military on Saturday, Defense Minister Florence Parly said.

French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly makes an official statement with French Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian (not pictured) in the press room at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, April 14, 2018. The French military on Saturday targeted Syria's main chemicals research centre as well as two other facilities, hours after President Emmanuel Macron ordered a military intervention in Syria alongside the United States and Britain in an attack on the chemical weapons arsenal. Michel Euler/Pool via Reuters

Parly said some of the strikes had targeted two sites used by Bashar al-Assad’s regime to store and assemble chemical weapons near the Syrian city of Homs.

“The mission is a success. The goals had been carefully chosen and I observe that there are no incidents to report between our forces and other forces active in the region,” Parly told a news conference.

French army chief Francois Lecointre added Syria’s ground-to-air defense system had been effective but that its efficiency proved “very limited.” Russian assets deployed in Syria were “neither active nor proactive” he said.

He added that there was no reason to think there could have been any collateral victim.

Writing by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Ingrid Melander

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