France: no-fly zone a consideration in Syria
France will propose giving the UN the power to enforce Kofi Annan's Syrian peace plan, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said yesterday, adding that a no-fly zone was an option under consideration to stem what was now a civil war.
His comments were the toughest yet from a major power in response to the relentless violence in Syria, where many hundreds of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed since an April 12 ceasefire was supposed to open up a chance for talks to resolve the crisis.
Fabius said he hoped Russia, which, with China, has shielded President Bashar al-Assad from international action over his bloody crackdown on a 15-month-old uprising, would agree to the UN invoking Chapter 7, which can authorise the use of force.
The plan brokered by Annan, the former UN secretary-general, has failed to halt the bloodshed in Syria, where more than 10000 people have been killed since last year.
"We need to move up a gear at the Security Council and place the Annan plan under Chapter 7," Fabius said.
"That is to say, make it compulsory under pain of very heavy sanctions."