French President Emmanuel Macron said that the US-led strike on Syria was legitimate, but "history will judge" whether the operation was justified. He added that neither France nor its allies are at war with the country.
Macron was giving a live interview following the Saturday strike on Syria that was carried out without any resolution from the UN security council. The US-led attack, that hit three targets in Syria, a research center and military bases, was launched in response to an alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 7.
The French president defended the lack of a UN resolution before conducting the strikes against Syria, saying that it was "the international community" that intervened.
"We have complete international legitimacy to act within this framework," Macron said in the interview broadcast by BFMTV, RMC radio and Mediapart. "Three members of the Security Council have intervened."
Macron also alleged that he was the one who convinced US President Donald Trump to remain in Syria and that the coalition should limit their strikes to chemical weapons facilities.
"Ten days ago, President Trump was saying 'the United States should withdraw from Syria'. We convinced him it was necessary to stay," Macron said. "We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term."
He also asserted that Assad has lied “from the beginning” about the alleged use of chemical weapons by forces under his control. Macron also reaffirmed that the French government has proof that chemical weapons, notably chlorine gas, were used in Syria, adding that the "the priority for France's military intervention remains in the fight against ISIS" and that the "precision strikes" did not inflict any collateral damage on Russian forces.
He also accused Russia of being complicit in the alleged chemical weapons attacks carried out by pro-Assad forces by disrupting the work of the international community and the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) using “diplomatic channels.” He didn't mention, however, that the strike took place hours before the inspectors of the OPCW were to start their mission at the place of the alleged attack and were guaranteed full access by the Syrian government who took control over the area this week.
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