Assad Warns France Not To Attack Syria

LE FIGARO (France)


DAMASCUS — Bashar al-Assad warned France not to launch a military strike, which the Syrian president said would support terrorism against the interests of the Syrian people. In an exclusive interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Assad said that should Paris take part in a military intervention, "there will be repercussions, negative of course, for French interests."

Assad also reasserted that the Syrian army had not carried the chemical attack on August 21, challenging the United States, France and other countries that claim otherwise to publish convincing evidence. "All the accusations are based on allegations made by terrorists and on arbitrary video clips broadcast on the Internet," Assad said. "If the Americans, the French or the British had even a single (sign of) proof, they would have shown it from day one. We do not discuss rumors. We only deal with facts. If what they say is true, let them provide evidence of it."

The interview took place before the French government published its report Monday night on the alleged chemical attack of August 21. The nine-page document says that Assad's forces used chemical weapons three times between April and August and that the rebels do not have the capabilities to carry such an attack.

Speaking about U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to wait for a Sep. 9 vote by Congress on whether to intervene, Assad told Le Figaro: "For us, a strong man prevents rather than starts a war. But Obama is weak because he is facing pressure from within the United States."

With the French Parliament due to debate France's participation in a possible military intervention on Wednesday, Assad said: "How can France fight terrorism in Mali but support it in Syria? Will France become an example of the political double standards promoted by the US?"

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced Monday evening that the parliamentary debate will not be followed by a vote, leaving the decision in the hands of President Francois Hollande.

Le Figaro reports that a recent poll shows 64% of French citizens oppose an intervention in Syria.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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