France and Britain Fail: EU Won’t Lift Syria Arms Ban

Citing Likely False Reports of Chemical Weapon Use Didn't Help

France and Britain have continued to browbeat the European Union all week about lifting the arms embargo on Syria so they could start throwing weapons at the rebels, but diplomats familiar with the situation say they have failed and the EU won’t lift the ban.

Efforts to lift the ban have been ongoing for weeks, but shifted in rhetoric after the Tuesday reports of a chemical weapons attack in Aleppo. The reports are almost certainly false, but that’s not stopping France.

“Very close attention must be paid to the possible use by Assad of chemical weapons,” noted Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, adding “there are indications that he might have used them or that he might use them.”

Germany and Austria are leading the opposition to lifting the embargo, saying that they are concerned the rebels, many of whom are from al-Qaeda linked jihadist factions, would eventually use the weapons on EU member nations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of