The President stated that the air strikes were carried out to prevent the Islamic State from hurting French interests as well as to protect Syrian civilians.
“Faced with these crimes that offend the human conscience, this bureaucracy of horror, faced with this denial of the values of humanity, it is our responsibility to act against the impunity of the killers”, Mr Fabius said.
The investigation is focusing on evidence provided by a former Syrian army photographer known by the codename “Caesar”, who defected and fled the country in 2013, bringing with him a few 55,000 graphic photographs of scenes from the brutal conflict. It is unclear whether French investigators would travel to war-torn Syria, who might eventually be charged, and how they would be brought to trial.
It is impossible to be fighting terrorism other than in cooperation with the legal government in Syria and the Syrian military.
Ceasar told French magazine L’Obs in an interview released on Wednesday that he wanted to “show the real face of Bashar Al Assad – that of a dictator who has caused a lot of blood to flow”.
The investigation, which is also examining claims of torture and kidnapping by Mr Assad’s forces, was opened “on the basis of indications received from the foreign ministry” on Sept 10, an official at the prosecutor’s office said.
NEW YORK-France is still seeking clarity on the objective of Russia’s military buildup in Syria, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Saturday, as he insisted a political solution cannot leave Syrian President Bashar al-Assad permanently in power.
While Assad is unlikely to ever take the stand in a French court, the inquiry could add to political pressure on the Syrian leader in the midst of a diplomatic row between the West and Russian Federation and Iran over his fate.
France had until then struck Islamic State targets only in neighbouring Iraq, carrying out just three percent of the air strikes in the offensive on the group by a U.S.-led coalition.
“I view this week as a major opportunity for any number of countries to play an important role in trying to resolve a few of the very hard issues of the Middle East. We need to achieve peace and a way forward in Syria, in Yemen, in the region itself”, Kerry told journalists. The government denies those charges.