- He hailed operation targeting Syrian chemical weapons facilities a success
- In a television interview he insisted that the strikes were legal and legitimate
- He also claimed credit for convincing his US counterpart Donald Trump to stay engaged in the conflict long-term
By Alex Green For Mailonline
Published: 15:38 EDT, 15 April 2018 | Updated: 20:18 EDT, 15 April 2018
President Emmanuel Macron has said France's air strikes in Syria in response to an alleged chemical attack were not a declaration of war against the Damascus regime.
'We have not declared war on the regime of Bashar al-Assad,' Macron said in a television interview, a day after France joined the United States and Britain in launching strikes.
Insisting that the strikes were legitimate, Macron hailed the operation targeting Syrian chemical weapons facilities as a military success.
French President Emmanuel Macron said today that the nation had 'not declared war on the regime of Bashar al-Assad'
'Their chemical weapons production capacities have been destroyed,' Macron told BFM television at the start of a two-hour interview marking almost a year since the start of his presidency.
He also claimed credit for convincing his US counterpart Donald Trump to stay engaged in the conflict long-term.
'Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States of America had a duty to disengage from Syria,' Macron said.
Macron also claimed credit for convincing Donald Trump to stay involved in the conflict during an interview with journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin
'We convinced him it was necessary to stay,' he added.
'I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long-term.'
It comes after Putin warned there would be 'consequences' for the strikes, which targeted chemical weapons facilities.
France has continued to talk regularly with Russia even as East-West tensions have grown.
Macron arrived with wife Brigitte Macron at BFM television for the interview in which he claimed it was him who swayed Trump into maintaining involvement in Syria
The interview was conducted at the Theatre National De Chaillot in Paris in the wake of the United States, Britain and France's decision to launch air strikes in Syria
Macron spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin hours before the Western missile strikes.
In a statement issued after the strikes, he said: 'We cannot tolerate the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons.'
He added 'the facts and the responsibility of the Syrian regime are not in doubt,' concerning the 'deaths of dozens of men, women and children' in what he said was a chemical weapons attack on April 7 in Douma.