Hollande Says Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria Requires International Response
French President Francois Hollande has said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria "obliges the international community to act," adding that any response must be undertaken while being compliant with international law. Hollande's comments came shortly after it was reported that Syrian forces with the help of Hezbollah had retaken the strategic town of Qusair.
A peace conference that had been planned for some this month. However, U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has said that the conference may not take place until July, saying that both sides of the conflict are not ready to participate.
One of the options commonly discussed regarding intervention in Syria is the imposition of a no-fly zone similar to the one that was put in place over Libya in 2011.
However, there are reasons to believe that a no-fly zone, even were it imposed by the American military, would not necessarily lead to Assad's downfall, a point Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations outlined earlier today.
Aside from putting a no-fly zone in place France and other countries could send weapons to rebels in Syria. However, there is the chance that such weapons could end up in the hands of jihadists who are fighting with the rebels.
Even if it was possible to send weapons to rebels in Syria while making sure Al Qaeda-linked groups did not get ahold of them it is possible that rebels from the Free Syrian Army would use weapons to contribute to the conflict's overspill and the region's destabilization. Earlier today it was reported that the military chief of the Free Syrian Army said that his men are ready to fight Hezbollah in Lebanon, a move that would only expand the conflict, presumably something Hollande and others who have expressed an interest in intervention would like to avoid.