How Macron convinced Trump to strike Syria


How Macron convinced Trump to strike Syria

The French leader claimed that he was responsible for convincing Donald Trump to "stay" in Syria.

"Their chemical weapons production capacities have been destroyed", Macron told BFM television at the start of a two-hour interview marking nearly a year since the start of his presidency.

Trump authorized targeted missile strikes in Syria on Friday in response to a chemical weapons attack on citizens in the Syrian town of Douma. Macron said officials helped narrow the president's focus for potential strikes after he had "gotten a little carried away over tweets", Reuters reported.

While it is unusual for a French president to present himself as driving U.S. policy on military matters in the Middle East, Macron and Trump have developed a friendly relationship over the past year.

France persuaded United States president Donald Trump to stay in Syria and launch air strikes as punishment for an alleged chemical weapons attack, French president Emmanuel Macron has said.

Macron said France also convinced Trump that the strikes had to be limited to suspected chemical weapons sites.

Macron reaffirmed that there was proof of chemical attacks, adding: "We had reached a point where these strikes were necessary to give back the [international] community some credibility".

Macron said that failing so far to get the red lines respected had led Russian authorities to think of Western powers that "these people from the global community - they are nice, they are weak".

The Elysee added the French president "wished that consultation between France and Russian Federation continue and intensify to bring peace and stability to Syria". "It is worldwide community that has intervened, and has done so in an extremely precise way", he added and reiterated that France considers that it has sufficient evidence that Damascus is behind use of chemical weapons in city of Duma a little over a week ago.

Less than two weeks ago, President Trump said he wanted to remove all American troops from Syria.

Macron had warmer words for Turkey. "We can not tolerate the banalisation of the use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and for our collective security". The U.N. Security Council met to debate the strikes, but rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the three Western allies.

Macron, criticised by the far-left and far-right and part of the conservatives over the attacks, said France, Britain and the United States had "complete global legitimacy to act".

Like Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May, Macron has faced a domestic backlash for striking Syria without consulting the legislature, but he defended the move as well within his constitutional powers.