French President Emmanuel Macron has been watching his poll numbers drop since his election nine months ago, as Macron chalks up one reform after another. Today, the unpopular President of France, Emmanuel Macron threatened to bomb Syria if it’s proven they used chemical weapons against citizens.

Macron is following two unpopular one-term presidents — the ineffectual Francois Hollande, preceded by the brash Nicolas Sarkozy — Macron is seeking to restore grandeur to the office and return France to prominence on the world stage.
 The young leader’s zeal for reforms — and the use of executive decrees to overhaul the labour code, seen as a strong-arm tactic — has come with a cost.
The man who won two-thirds of the vote in May has an approval rating of just 32 percent in a YouGov poll out November 2.
But insiders say his poll standings do not worry him. –thelocal

Will Macron’s new threat to “strike” if it’s proven that chemical bombs were used in Syria, cause his popularity with the French to drop even further?

According to Reuters, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that “France will strike” if chemical weapons are used against civilians in the Syrian conflict in violation of international treaties, but that he had not yet seen proof this was the case.

Macron said last May that the use of chemical weapons would represent a “red line”. In a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday expressed concern over signs that chlorine bombs had been used against civilians in Syria.

“On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line,” Macron told reporters. “If we have proven evidence that chemical weapons proscribed in treaties are used, we will strike the place where they are made.”

“Today, our agencies, our armed forces have not established that chemical weapons, as set out in treaties, have been used against the civilian population.”

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons and said it targets only armed rebels and militants.

Last week was one of the bloodiest in the Syrian conflict as Syrian government forces, who are backed by Russia and Iran, bombarded two of the last major rebel areas of Syria – Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and the northwestern province of Idlib.

Syria signed the international treaty banning chemical weapons and allowed monitors to destroy its poison gas arsenal after an agreement reached in 2013 to avert U.S. retaliation for what Washington said was a nerve gas attack near Damascus that killed more than 1000 people. Washington again accused Syria of using nerve gas last year and struck Syrian targets.

In recent weeks, rescue workers, aid groups and the United States have accused Syria of repeatedly using chlorine gas, which it possesses legally for uses such as water purification, as a chemical weapon against civilians in Ghouta and Idlib.

 France, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has struggled to wield influence on Syria. Critics who accuse Macron of inaction say he has not given a clear definition of whether use of chlorine would for him constitute a chemical attack.


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