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Macron Says He 'Convinced' US To Stay in Syria

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Macron Says He 'Convinced' US To Stay in Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that ahead of a joint strike on Syria's chemical facilities he convinced US President Donald Trump not to withdraw troops from Syria and instead commit "for the long term."

Earlier this month, Trump declared that the US would "be coming out of Syria very soon."

"Ten days ago, President Trump said the USA's will is to disengage from Syria. We convinced him that it was necessary to stay," Macron said, during a two-hour televised interview with several French media outlets.

On Saturday, joint US, UK, and French strikes targeted Syrian government sites in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack.

According to the BBC and CNN, Macron said he also persuaded Trump to keep the strikes limited. There had been reports Trump wanted to see tougher, more extended action in Syria but was talked down by his national security team.

The pair, who are reported to have a friendly relationship, spoke several times in the days before the military action was taken.

Inspectors from the independent Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are in Syria to inspect the site of the alleged chemical attack, but British diplomats said Syria and Russia had not yet allowed the inspectors to visit the site.

The military strike on chemical laboratories has been condemned by Syrian ally Russia, which attempted to bring a motion in the United Nations Security Council on Saturday to denounce the "aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic by the US and its allies."

Image credit: AFP