Macron Says He Told Putin Russia "Complicit" in "Syrian Chemical Weapons' Use"

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said he had convinced U.S. President Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria for the long term and limit joint strikes to chemical weapons facilities. "We convinced him to remain".

The U.S., France and the United Kingdom launched the airstrikes early Saturday in a joint operation, saying it was in response to the deadly chemical attack on Syrian civilians - an attack they linked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The French leader, described as centrist and pro-free-market, is set to make a state visit to the US next week and is scheduled to travel to Russian Federation next month.

Announcing the strikes in an address to the nation on Friday evening in Washington, Mr Trump insisted: "America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria - under no circumstances".

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that the strikes had been carried out in violation of norms and principles of the worldwide law.

The bombings marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation but the United States, France and Britain have said the missile strikes were limited to Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

Macron added that the strikes on Syria had been "perfectly carried out".

"It's the condition to have peace", Macron told news channel BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

"This (a chemical attack) very easily could happen in the United States if we're not smart, and if we're not conscious of what's happening", she said.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said no further strikes were planned, but that this would be reassessed if more chemical attacks took place. "This was not the first time that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against civilians but it must be the last".

After the US, France and Britain launched missile strikes on the country over an alleged chemical gas attack, the French president noted that Western top priority is preparing "a long-term political alternative which will allow a transition in a constitutional framework". Stoltenberg said: "Before the attack took place last night, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies exhausted all other possible ways to address this issue to the U.N. Security Council but ... were blocked by Russian Federation ..."