Macron says he ‘convinced’ Trump to stay in Syria ahead of strikes

Macron says he ‘convinced’ Trump to stay in Syria ahead of strikes

(CNN) – French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday he “convinced” President Donald Trump to stay in Syria before the United States, United Kingdom and France launched strikes against targets at three sites Friday night .

“Ten days ago, President Trump said the USA’s will is to disengage from Syria. We convinced him that it was necessary to stay,” Macron said during a two-hour televised interview with several French media outlets.

Macron said France also convinced Trump that the strikes had to be limited to suspected chemical weapons sites.

On Friday, Trump said he “ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.”

The strikes followed a suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma, outside Damascus, where Syrian forces have long been battling rebels.

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

But by Saturday, Trump was celebrating the success of the attacks on Twitter in a highly criticized tweet that left many wondering if the US’s involvement in the country was over.

“A perfectly executed strike last night,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”

In his interview, Macron said the US would stay put.

“Please be reassured we’ve convinced him that we had to stay on in the long-term,” Macron said.