French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday he “convinced” President Donald Trump to stay in Syria before the United States, United Kingdom and France launched strikes against targets at three sites Friday night .
“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.
Macron said France also convinced Trump that the strikes had to be limited to suspected chemical weapons sites.
“The U.S. mission has not changed — the President has been clear that he wants U.S. forces to come home as quickly as possible,” said press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement. “We are determined to completely crush ISIS and create the conditions that will prevent its return. In addition we expect our regional allies and partners to take greater responsibility both militarily and financially for securing the region.”
On Friday, Trump said he “ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.”
The strikes followed a suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma, outside Damascus, where Syrian forces have long been battling rebels.
On Friday, Trump said that the US is “prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”
“A perfectly executed strike last night,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”
In his interview, Macron said the US would stay put.
“Please be reassured we’ve convinced him that we had to stay on in the long-term,” Macron said.
By Devan Cole