"I recall that the use of chemical weapons is a war crime and a violation of the international non-proliferation regime. France, as the president of the republic, has repeatedly stated, will assume all the responsibilities in the fight against the spread of chemical weapons. France calls on the United Nations Security Council to convene a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the situation in Eastern Ghouta," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.
He also expressed his concern about reports of a new use of chemical weapons.
"I express my outrage in connection with images and information [about alleged chemical attack], which is passed on to several organizations that have witnessed on the scene," Le Drian said.
Le Drian added that France was actively cooperating with its allies and relevant international organizations to verify the reality and origin of these attacks.
He also condemned the blockade of the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta by the Syrian government forces.
"I strongly condemn the continuation of the siege of the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta by the Syrian regime and the bombing, which resulted in a large number of civilian casualties over the past 24 hours," the minister said.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation refuted the reports about chemical weapons use in Syria and expressed its readiness to deploy chemical protection specialists after the full liberation of the area to prove the fabricated nature of these statements. The center’s head characterized the allegations as an attempt to hinder the process of withdrawal of Jaysh al-Islam militants from Duma.
On Saturday, several media outlets, citing Syrian militants, accused Damascus of using chemical weapons in Douma. In turn, Syria’s SANA news agency reported quoting Syrian officials that these allegations were merely a provocation by Jaysh al-Islam group and other militants to hinder the advance of the Syrian government’s army.