Assad should not be toppled by military force: Italy

Rome: Italy opposes the ousting of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a military operation, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Tuesday.

“We have made it clear to our allies that we oppose a military escalation and that it is impossible to end the conflict just by removing the dictator Assad through force,” Gentiloni told lawmakers.

Gentiloni also Syria’s devastating seven-year civil war and the government but said negotiation with the Assad “regime” was unavoidable.

“We are facing the tragedy of a horrible war and a horrible regime yet negotiation with this regime is inevitable,” he said.

Italy earlier voiced support for the targeted strikes on Saturday by the United States, Britain and France against three Syrian government sites after an alleged chemical attack on the rebel enclave of Douma on 7 April that killed dozens.