PARIS – France persuaded President Donald Trump to stay in Syria and launch airstrikes as punishment for an alleged chemical-weapons attack, French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday.
Appearing live on French television BFM and online investigative site Mediapart nearly a year into his term, the 40-year-old leader said the US, Britain and France had "full international legitimacy to intervene" with the strikes, to enforce international humanitarian law.
The allies fired missiles early Saturday at three chemical-weapons facilities in Syria to punish the regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Douma.
"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. The airstrikes marked Macron's biggest foreign policy challenge yet. The new president declared France the most active country in the diplomatic arena and at the United Nations.