The French President Emmanuel Macron made the confession that he persuaded President Donald Trump not to pullout U.S. soldiers in Syria to enable him launch airstrikes as punishment for the Bashar al-Assad led-government for an alleged chemical weapons attack on his people.
Macron said it had also been France which convinced Trump that the strikes had to be limited to suspected chemical weapons sites.
While appearing in a two-hour live broadcast on French television BFM and online investigative site Mediapart Macron said, the U.S., Britain and France had “full international legitimacy to intervene” in order to enforce international humanitarian law.
“The airstrikes marked Macron’s biggest foreign policy yet. Nearly a year into his term, the new president declared France the most active country on the diplomatic field and at the United Nations.
After Mr Macron’s comments, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: “The US mission has not changed – the president has been clear that he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible”.
She added that the US was “determined to completely crush” the Islamic State group and prevent its return.
The US has about 2,000 personnel on the ground in eastern Syria supporting an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
inspectors for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were due to go to Douma Sunday after arriving in Syria shortly after Saturday’s strikes, and have yet to report on any findings.
Protests against the strikes were held around the world Saturday, including in major cities in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Greece and the United States.
A tweet from Mr Trump last week about US missile strikes on Syria had read: “Get ready, Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart’. You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”