World Bulletin / News Desk
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has ruled out sending ground troops to Syria, although France may provide support to coalition forces there to fight ISIL.
Speaking at a debate in the parliament Tuesday, Valls said: "Any ground intervention, meaning ground troops on our part or from other Western countries, would be inconsistent and unrealistic".
"But if there were a regional coalition that would form to go and liberate Syria from the tyranny of ISIL, those countries would have all of France‘s support," he added.
The debate comes days after France carried out its first reconnaissance flights over Syria to locate ISIL command centers in preparation for possible airstrikes against the terrorist group in Syria.
During his speech, Valls also said that the number of French nationals involved in fighting in Iraq and Syria had reached 1,880; out of whom, 133 died.
The French premier said that reconnaissance missions would likely last several weeks to be able to determine the sites of ISIL.
About reaching a compromise with Syrian regime’s Bashar al-Assad, Valls said that it was "out of the question".
"We will do nothing to strengthen the regime. The urgency, on the contrary, is to reach an agreement that definitively turns the pages of the crimes of Assad ... With a man responsible for so many dead and crimes against humanity, no compromise or deal is possible," he added.
On Friday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France had not yet decided to conduct airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria and would limit its aerial operations there to reconnaissance flights for the time being.
The Syria conflict began in early 2011 when the regime of Bashar al-Assad responded with unexpected ferocity to popular protests that erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings.
More than four years of intense fighting has left the country divided between pro-Assad forces and a number of heavily armed opposition factions, which are often at odds among themselves.
Roughly half of the country’s population has been displaced by the violence, with over four million Syrians now seeking refuge in neighboring countries, especially Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
More than 250,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict, and millions more have been displaced, according to the UN.Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2015, 09:11