Paris, April 16: French President Emmanuel Macron said that he “convinced” his American counterpart Donald Trump to remain in Syria before the coordinated strikes launched against targeted Syrian government sites in response to an alleged chemical attack, the media reported. “Ten days ago, President Trump said the US’s will is to disengage from Syria. We convinced him that it was necessary to stay,” CNN quoted Macron as saying on Sunday during a two-hour televised interview with several French media outlets. On Friday night, the US, France and the UK launched a series of strikes on a research laboratory and two storage facilities associated with Syria’s chemical weapons programme. Satellite images of the facilities, located west of Homs and near the capital Damascus, before and after the strikes appear to show they suffered extensive damage. France also convinced Trump that the strikes had to be limited to suspected chemical weapons sites, Macron added. Prior to the strikes, there had been reports that Trump wanted to see tougher, more extended action in Syria but was talked down by his national security team.
During Sunday’s interview, Macron said Russian President Vladimir Putin was an “accomplice” to Syria’s alleged use of chemicals weapons. Politicians in France and the UK on Monday will seek answers from the countries’ leaders about their decision to launch strikes without formal approval. (IANS)