Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Macron says he 'convinced' Trump to stay in Syria ahead of strikes

Macron says he 'convinced' Trump to stay in Syria ahead of strikes

"France will in no way allow an escalation or anything that would harm regional stability, but we cannot allow regimes that believe they can act with impunity to violate worldwide law in the worst possible way".

Emmanuel Macron has said any use of chemical weapons would be a "red line".

The French strikes, involving 12 cruise missiles, fighter jets and warships, were Macron's first major military decision since taking office a year ago and was all but inevitable after the young president repeatedly said France would strike if a fatal chemical attack took place in Syria.

Macron added that he was in daily contact with US President Donald Trump and that they would decide on their response "at a time of our choosing, when we judge it to be the most useful and the most effective".

Backing up its reasons for the air strikes, the foreign ministry released an intelligence report based largely on open sources which concluded that there was no other plausible explanation than a chemical attacked coordinated by the Syrian military.

The White House reacted Sunday night to France's claim that it "convinced" President Donald Trump to maintain the USA military presence in Syria, shortly after the two allies took part in airstrikes against the Assad regime.

"We convinced him it was necessary to stay".

Macron said he hopes to bring Putin's Russian Federation and Erdogan's Turkey to the negotiating table in order to find a political solution for Syria.


Macron added that Russian Federation, which backs Assad politically and militarily, had made itself complicit in the Syrian government's actions.

The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.

Macron, who had made the use of chemical weapons a "red line" not to be crossed, bemoaned Russia's use this week of its veto to block a UN Security Council resolution on setting up an investigation into the attack that would name those responsible.

It comes after Putin warned there would be "consequences" for the strikes, which targeted chemical weapons facilities.

Haley said the three US goals for accomplishing its mission have been making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm USA national interests, defeating the Islamic State terror group and having a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.

Mr Macron said "we can not tolerate the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons", in a statement.

"We're not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things", she said.

A day after France joined the United States and Britain in launching aggression on Syria, Macron insisted the intervention was "legitimate" and urged global powers to push for a diplomatic solution to the seven-year war.

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