France "Ready" to Act in Syria

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 30 2013 10:28 AM

The White House Finds an Ally on Syria

178319985
French President Francois Hollande pauses during a joint press conference with Ahmad Al-Assi Al-Jarba, Leader Of Syrian National Coalition, after a meeting at Elysee Palace on August 29, 2013 in Paris

Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

French President Francois Hollande said Friday that his country is prepared to act in Syria to punish the Assad regime for its apparent use of chemical weapons, news that comes less than 24 hours after British lawmakers rather stunningly rejected the option of its own military involvement in Syria.

"There are few countries that have the capacity to inflict a sanction by the appropriate means. France is one of them," Hollande said, according to Reuters. "We are ready. We will decide our position in close liaison with our allies."

Advertisement

Holllande's support is a small but significant victory for the White House, which has made it a priority to assemble an international coalition while at the same time making it clear that President Obama is willing to go it alone if necessary. Hollande's comments raise the possibility that, in the words of the Washington Post, "a nation demonized for turning its back on Washington during the war in Iraq could now emerge as the primary U.S. ally in a possible strike against the regime of Bashar al-Assad."

The French parliament is due to debate the issue next Wednesday, although the BBC notes that Hollande didn't rule out the possibility that military action could be taken before then.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

The U.S. Airstrikes on ISIS in Syria Will Probably Benefit America’s Other Enemies

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

It’s Not Easy for Me, but I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 23 2014 10:55 AM This Isn’t the Syria Intervention Anyone Wanted
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 23 2014 10:03 AM Watch Steve Jobs Tell Michael Dell, "We're Coming After You"
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 23 2014 10:24 AM How Bad Are Your Drinking Habits? An 18th-Century Temperance Thermometer Has the Verdict.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Behold
Sept. 23 2014 11:30 AM A Rope Mistress, the Rubber Master, Sadomasochist Sisters: Portraits in Kink
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google CEO: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.