French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he convinced US President Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria.
Macron made the remarks in an interview broadcast by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart on Sunday, where he also defended his country’s participation in the joint air strikes on Syria.
“We convinced him it was necessary to remain there…We have complete international legitimacy to act in this framework,” he said. “We have three members of the (United Nations) Security Council who have intervened.”
The announcement was made several hours after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the US would not pull American troops out of Syria until its goals were accomplished.
Haley listed three goals for the US, ensuring that chemical weapons are not used in any way that pose a risk to American interests, that the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group is defeated, and that there is a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.
Early on Saturday, the US, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack against the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus.
The Syrian government has rejected claims that it was behind the suspected chemical attack near the capital Damascus on April 7. The attack purportedly took place in the former militant-held town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.
OPCW experts began Syria mission
Meanwhile, a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(OPCW) have commenced their investigation into the alleged chemical attack.
The Hague based team arrived in Syria several hours after the joint airstrikes on Syrian soil.
“We will ensure they can work professionally, objectively, impartially and free of any pressure,” Assistant Syrian Foreign Minister Ayman Soussan was quoted by the AFP as saying.
Syria turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.