French President Emmanuel Macron: We have proof Syria used chlorine

Lester Mason
April 16, 2018

The French president said on Sunday that Paris had convinced the U.S. administration to "stay in Syria long term". "We convinced him to remain", French President Emmanuel Macron said live on French television BFM and online investigative site Mediapart.

He said the military operation in Syria was legitimate and within the worldwide community framework, and was not a declaration of war.

President Donald Trump was evasive about when the U.S. might attack Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons assault, saying it could be "very soon or not so soon at all!"

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a meeting as part of the joint airstrike operation by the British, French and US militaries in this picture obtained on April 14, 2018 via social media. All three countries are involved in the Syrian conflict.

"But it was the world saying that we have had enough of the use of chemical weapons, the erosion of that taboo that has been in place for 100 years has gone too far under Bashar Assad", he said.

Macron confirmed that he will visit St. Petersburg, Russia, in May.

However, Mr Macron said that by joining forces with France and the United Kingdom for last Saturday's air strikes, the U.S. "fully realised that our responsibility went above and beyond the war against IS, and that it was a humanitarian responsibility as well on the ground".

Macron said Sunday that France had proof that chlorine and chemical weapons had been used.

Obama had to backtrack in the face of congressional opposition, signaling US fatigue in the Middle East and empowering Russia, Western military experts said at the time. "The Turks condemned the chemical weapons". "They have not used chlorine themselves but they have methodically built the worldwide community's inability to act through diplomatic channels to stop the use of chemical weapons", he said of Russian Federation.

The allied missile attacks in Syria were "legitimate", "limited" and "proportionate", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

The French air force has been active in Syria since 2015 to fight Islamic State, but had not targeted government targets until now. "This is not about intervening in a civil war".

Russian Federation and Iran called the use of force by the United States and its French and British allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression".

Macron, who had made the use of chemical weapons a "red line" not to be crossed, bemoaned Russia's use this week of its veto to block a UN Security Council resolution on setting up an investigation into the attack that would name those responsible. In fact, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no additional attacks were planned.

Trump said the US was prepared to keep up the economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until he ends what Trump called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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