Paris (France) (AFP) – President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that France’s air strikes in Syria in response to an alleged chemical attack were not a declaration of war against the Damascus regime.
“We have not declared war on the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” Macron said in a television interview, a day after France joined the United States and Britain in launching strikes.
Insisting that the strikes were legitimate, Macron hailed the operation targeting Syrian chemical weapons facilities as a military success.
“Their chemical weapons production capacities have been destroyed,” Macron told BFM television at the start of a two-hour interview marking almost a year since the start of his presidency.
He also claimed credit for convincing his US counterpart Donald Trump to stay engaged in the conflict long-term.
“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States of America had a duty to disengage from Syria,” Macron said.
“We convinced him it was necessary to stay,” he added.
“I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long-term.”