Ladies and gentlemen,
In Syria this morning, France launched a strike on a training camp belonging to the terrorist group Daesh [ISIL], which was threatening our country’s security.
The strike on the camp was carried out close to Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria. The operation was in the framework of the decision I took on 7 September to send reconnaissance flights to identify targets corresponding to the very intention we wanted to signal: to protect our territory, prevent terrorist actions and act in self-defence.
The targets were identified thanks to these reconnaissance flights, but also thanks to the coalition, which also provided us with information. Our forces achieved their goals: the camp was totally destroyed. Six planes were used, including five Rafales. And we were able to be sure our operation had no consequences on civilians.
Other strikes may take place in the coming weeks if necessary, always with the same goal: to identify the targets corresponding to training camps or places [from] where we know the terrorist group Daesh may threaten our country’s security or conduct terrorist actions.
There’s what we are doing at military level, which we’re also doing autonomously, even though we’re working with the coalition. And there’s also what we are doing at political and diplomatic level. I’m here in New York and – together with the Foreign Minister – I’m going to meet all the partners, the protagonists in what’s called “the Syria conflict”, a conflict which has claimed 250,000 lives and for which Bashar al-Assad is chiefly responsible, even though the group Daesh is now committing and for several months has been committing unspeakable atrocities.
This political solution means integrating all the parties involved – and I mean all the parties involved. And France is talking to them all and excluding no one. On the other hand, France believes that Syria’s future cannot involve Bashar al-Assad.
So throughout this period we must bring to a successful conclusion this search for a political solution while protecting our interests, through targeted military actions which must, each time, enable us to prevent a number of acts that could be committed in our country or actions which could have terrible consequences on civilians.
France is acting in the name of principles, France is acting to find a solution in Syria, and France is also acting to protect itself. Thank you./.