Emmanuel Macron 'convinced Donald Trump' to stay in Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to his wife Brigitte during the Bishops' Conference of France at College des Bernardins in Paris Monday

Macron urged Catholics to join political debate and defined his vision of French secularism as open rather than intolerant Credit Ludovic Marin AFP

But she added that the USA was "determined to completely crush" the Islamic State group and prevent its return.

"Three sites of production and treatment of chemical weapons were struck [.] there were no Syrian or Russian victims, which is exactly what we wanted to do".

The UK dismissed as "ludicrous" a suggestion from Russian Federation that it was behind the Douma chemical weapons attack.

The White Helmets, a civil defense agency, blamed the Assad regime for an alleged chemical attack earlier this month, which it said killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others. "There are multiple eye witness accounts, substantial video footage, accounts from first responders and medical evidence".

"Chlorine was definitely used", he said. In telephone calls with Trump, he also said he "persuaded him that we needed to limit the strikes to chemical weapons [sites], after things got a little carried away over tweets".

He stressed it was "not an attempt to change the tide of the war in Syria or to have regime change" and "the Syrian war in many ways will go on in its disgusting, miserable way".

On Friday, Trump said that the USA is "prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents".

China's Weibo backtracks on 'homosexual content' ban
Just that it has no clear idea how to deal with the issue. "But the bigger problem is the culture of strict censorship", she added.

France persuaded United States president Donald Trump to stay in Syria and launch air strikes as punishment for an alleged chemical weapons attack, French president Emmanuel Macron has said.

"We have complete global legitimacy to act in this framework", Macron said in an interview broadcast by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news.

"It was retaliation, not an act of war", Macron said in justifying the operation a day before the French parliament was set to debate it.

Speaking in a live TV interview, during which he was grilled on several subjects, Macron said: "Ten days ago, President Trump was saying "the United States should withdraw from Syria".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview published Sunday in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper that "we should join our efforts to promote a political process in Syria that would allow a way out of the crisis".

Macron, criticised by the far-left and far-right and part of the conservatives over the attacks, said France, Britain and the United States had "complete global legitimacy to act".

Despite soaring tensions with Russia, Macron stressed the need to "talk to everyone" in pursuing a Syrian settlement, saying his plans to visit Moscow in May remain unchanged.

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