Hours before fighter jets were set to launch, French President Francois Hollande received call from Obama informing him of delay, French magazine reveals.
French fighter jets were ready to take-off for an attack in Syria on August 31, but were called off only hours away from launch time, a French weekly magazine has revealed on Sunday.
France’s president, Francois Hollande called off the attack after a call with U.S. President Barack Obama, who decided that same day he would seek approval from Congress before carrying out a military response over chemical weapons use in Syria.
According to the report in Nouvel Observateur, Rafale-class aircraft were prepared to launch as officials laid the groundwork for the attack with the French public. “Everything made us think that D-Day had arrived,” a French official is quoted as saying. “This incredible misunderstanding lasted until the end of the afternoon.”
Hollande was expected to approve the attack, planned for 3 A.M. local time, on Syria’s missile batteries and control and command centers of the country’s unit in charge of chemical weapons.
The only thing still standing in the way was the requisite green light from Obama, but the U.S. president changed his mind after consultation with his advisers.