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September 30, 2013 1:27 pm

Report: Obama Stopped French Strike on Syria

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Israeli President Shimon Peres with French President Francois Hollande Paris 8/3/2013. Photo: Moshe Milner GPO. French President François Hollande canceled an airstrike against Syrian targets scheduled for Aug. 31 at the last minute following a phone call from U.S. President Barack Obama, the French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur reported on Sunday.

According to the report, Hollande was “shocked” when Obama informed him that he intended to seek Congressional approval for the strike and requested that Hollande cancel the military campaign only a few hours before French jets were set to take off. The mission was reportedly planned by the French and U.S. presidents immediately following the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria.

“Everything led us to believe that the big day had arrived,” a French official told Le Nouvel Observateur.

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