The threat of military strikes against Syria must be maintained in order to ensure President Bashar al-Assad dismantles his chemical weapons stockpile, French President Francois Hollande said Sunday, dpa reported.
"The military option must remain, otherwise there would be no constraint (on al-Assad)," Hollande told France's TF1 television in an interview a day after the United States and Russia announced a deal on the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal.
The US-Russian deal will form the basis of a United Nations resolution to be finalized in the coming days.
"We must make sure there is the possibility of punitive action if the agreement is not applied," Hollande said, adding that he would expect Russia, as an architect of the agreement, to take part in such an intervention if the regime ducked its commitments.
Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency