Hollande: France could launch military strike on Syria next week

French president Francois Hollande has said the French position on Syria remains unchanged despite refusal by British MPs to initiate military action, and that the country could launch a strike as early as Wednesday.

In an interview with Le Monde published this morning, Hollande said:

The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not go unpunished. To do so would be to trivialize the use of these weapons, and would threaten other countries.

I am not in favour of international intervention that aims to "liberate" Syria or overthrow its dictator, but I think that a halt must be brought to a regime that commits irreparable damage to its people.

He added that if the Security Council is unable to act, “a coalition will form”. This must be as broad as possible, he said, and will likely have the support of the Europeans and the Arab League.

Analysts have mixed views on the effect of military strikes on oil supply and prices.