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Frence's Macron convinces Trump not to pull out of Syria and tells Putin Russia was complicit in chemical attack

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Macron says it was France that persuaded the US to limit air strikes to Syria's chemical weapons sites

Mirror, 15 Apil 2018 - Emmanuel Macron says he has convinced his US counterpart Donald Trump not to pull out of Syria.

The French president said he has also told Vladimir Putin that Russia was complicit in the use of chemical weapons against citizens in Syria.

Macron said Trump agreed to keep US forces in the war-torn country before the two countries and Britain launched air strikes against Russia's ally.

He also said it was France that persuaded the US to limit the military action to chemical weapons sites.

 

The USS Monterey fires a Tomahawk missile towards Syria

He told BFM TV: "We convinced him it was necessary to remain there.

"We have complete international legitimacy to act in this framework.

"We have three members of the (United Nations) Security Council who have intervened."

The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles overnight on Friday in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria a week ago.

The Pentagon said three chemical weapons facilities were targeted, including a research and development centre in Damascus' Barzeh district and two installations near Homs.

The bombing was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad, but the three countries said the strikes were limited to Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

US President Donald Trump called the operation a success.

He proclaimed on Twitter: "Mission accomplished," echoing former President George W. Bush, whose use of the same phrase in 2003 to describe the US invasion of Iraq was widely ridiculed as violence there dragged on for years.

"We believe that by hitting Barzeh in particular we've attacked the heart of the Syrian chemicals weapon program," US Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said at the Pentagon.

However, McKenzie acknowledged elements of the program remain and he could not guarantee that Syria would be unable to conduct a chemical attack in the future.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council that Trump told her that if Syria uses poisonous gas again, "The United States is locked and loaded."

The Western countries said the strikes were aimed at preventing more Syrian chemical weapons attacks after a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on April 7 killed up to 75 people.

They blame Assad's government for the attack.

In Washington, a senior administration official said on Saturday that "while the available information is much greater on the chlorine use, we do have significant information that also points to sarin use" in the attack.

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