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Paris - French President François Hollande called off military strikes against Syria on 31 August after a call from the US President just hours before fighter jets were to take off, a French magazine revealed on Sunday. The report in Nouvel Observateur shows how close the West came to war with Syria over the regime's presumed use of chemical weapons in Damascus, before Washington backed down.
President Obama announced on television after informing a “stunned” Mr Hollande that he would seek a Congressional vote, thus lifting the military threat.
“Everything made us think D-Day had arrived,” a French official had said. Rafale aircraft were to target the division in charge of chemical weapons at 3am. - The Independent