Britain pushes for Syrian ceasefire alongside United States and France

Britain pushes for Syrian ceasefire alongside United States and France

PARIS-French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday he convinced his US counterpart, Donald Trump, to not disengage from Syria and to limit airstrikes to chemical-weapons targets.

"Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States should withdraw from Syria".

"I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long-term", he told veteran journalists Jean-Jacques Bourdin and Edwy Plenel, charged with the two-hour grilling on BFMTV. "We are determined to completely crush ISIS and create the conditions that will prevent its return".

He said the US, France and Britain targeted "extremely precise sites of chemical weapons use" in an operation that went off "perfectly". During a televised address, Trump said France and the United Kingdom had joined in the strikes.

The bombings marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation but the United States, France and Britain have said the missile strikes were limited to Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war. "With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this".

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.


Inspectors from the independent Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are now in Damascus.

Macron said that failing so far to get the red lines respected had led Russian authorities to think of Western powers that "these people from the global community - they are nice, they are weak". Stoltenberg said: "Before the attack took place last night, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies exhausted all other possible ways to address this issue to the U.N. Security Council but ... were blocked by Russian Federation ..."

President Putin spoke to Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani by phone on Sunday, telling him that any new Western strikes on Syria would spark "international chaos".

Three sites. Firstly, the Barzeh complex, which the USA says is a centre for development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, although Syria denies this.

Haley said the joint military strike "put a heavy blow into their chemical weapons program, setting them back years" and reiterated that if Assad uses poison gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded".

"All of our missiles reached their target", he said.

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