On April 15, France’s President Emmanuel Macron revealed that he had convinced US President Donald Trump in telephone calls [ahead of the strike on Syria] that US troops should stay in the war torn country a long term.
“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States of America had a duty to disengage from Syria … I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay [in Syria] for the long-term,” the France Press Agency (AFP) quoted Macron as saying during his interview with BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news.
The French President also claimed that the military strike on Syria had been “legitimate” as three of the permanent members of the US Security Council [the US, the UK and France] had participated in it.
“We have complete international legitimacy to act in this framework … We have three members of the (United Nations) Security Council who have intervened.” Macron said, according to Reuters news agency.
Earlier, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley confirmed during an interview on Fox TV that the US is not going to withdraw troops from Syria until its goals are accomplished.
Trump announced on March 29 that the US will withdraw its troops from Syria “very soon” and let “other people” to handle the situation there. Trump’s announcement was met with a wave of criticism from senior officials in his administration as well as the US allies like France and Saudi Arabia.
Many Syrian experts claimed the Duma chemical attack crisis had been mainly aimed at convincing Trump to keep US troops in Syria and to develop the US negative stance toward the current Syrian government. Macron’s statement could be sescribed as a supporting this version.