France: no airstrikes in Syria 'for now'

French FM Fabius says France has carried out two reconnaissance missions in Syria since Tuesday

France: no airstrikes in Syria 'for now'

World Bulletin / News Desk

France has not yet decided to conduct airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria and will limit its aerial operations there to reconnaissance flights for the time being, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.

"We have a certainty that ISIL, inside the Syrian territory, could threaten France, and therefore, in the name of self-defense, we are carrying those reconnaissance flights," Fabius told French broadcast BFMTV on Friday, adding that there would be no strikes “for now”.

He said that France had carried out two reconnaissance missions since Tuesday.

About the presence of Russian troops in Syria, Fabius said that France was "concerned" about reports that Russia had increased its military assets in Syria.

He said that his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov denied the reports but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed the reports were true.

Fabius said that "if it is about weapons, Russians traditionally deliver it to the Syrians, but if it is about sending troops, then we must try to understand what's the purpose."

"If they send [troops] to defend the base of Tartus, [then] why not, since you know that the Russians have a base in Tartus. But if it is to engage in an offensive..[then the question is, such an offensive is] against whom?", he added.

Fabius said that he would discuss these reports with Lavrov on Saturday during the meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, in Berlin.

"It's not by adding war to war that we will reach a solution [in Syria]," Fabius told French broadcast France 3 earlier on Thursday.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Eylül 2015, 16:55