0601 GMT March 17, 2018
French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on an official visit to India, said at a news conference on Monday that his country’s military would be ready to strike if it found "irrefutable evidence" chemical weapons had been used to kill civilians in Syria.
"The day we have, in particular in tandem with our American partners, irrefutable proof that the red line was crossed -- namely the chemical weapons were used to lethal effect -- we will do what the Americans themselves did moreover a few months ago; we would put ourselves in position to proceed with targeted strikes," Macron said.
"We are cross-matching our own information with that of our allies but to put it very clearly we have an independent capacity to identify targets and launch strikes where needed," the French president added.
The workshop was discovered in a recently-liberated area in Eastern Ghouta where Syrian troops are fighting foreign-backed extremists and Takfiri terrorists, Russian news agencies reported Monday, citing a field commander.
This comes as Western governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack takes place.
Syria surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the US and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. Damascus has also consistently denied using chemical weapons over the course of the foreign-backed militancy that has gripped the country since 2011.
Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is sympathetic to the militants operating against the Damascus government, said recently that a suspected chlorine attack had taken place in Eastern Ghouta region on February 25.
Prior to the report, Moscow, which has been backing Damascus in its terror fight, had warned that militant groups in Eastern Ghouta were preparing a false flag attack in a bid to blame the Syrian government for using chemical weapons against civilians.
In January, pro-militant sources in Syria, the White Helmets and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed that the Syrian government had used chlorine gas against militants in northwestern Syria.
The US and UK raised the issue at the UN Security Council on February 6, but the Syrian envoy rejected the allegations as “false and cheap.”
Last year, a suspected sarin gas attack hit the town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, taking at least 80 lives. Accusing Damascus, the US then launched several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase, which the opponents of the Syrian government claimed was used as the launch pad for the alleged gas attack, taking the lives of about 20 people, including both Syrian soldiers and civilians.
Damascus denied the accusation of being behind the alleged gas attack and described it as a “fabrication” to justify the subsequent US missile strike.
Damascus says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the Arab country.
The Syrian government and allied fighters have managed to liberate most of the territories that used to be under the control of the militants for the past years.