'Syria attack didn't resolve anything but preserved int'l honor'

Macron says missile strikes by US, UK, France on Syria didn't 'resolve anything' but were important for preserving honor of int'l community.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 15:07

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron defended his country’s participation in a massive missile strike over the weekend, which saw more than 100 missiles fired from US, British, and French ships and aircraft at sites used by the Assad regime’s chemical weapon program.

The three countries struck eight targets at three separate facilities over the weekend a week after the Syrian government allegedly used sarin nerve gas and chlorine gas to kill dozens of civilians in a suburb of Damascus.

The Western allies informed the Kremlin of the attacks ahead of time, allowing Russia to remove its forces from the targeted compounds and surrounding areas. Russia is allied with both Iran and the Assad regime, and critics have suggested that the prior notification of the attacks limited their effectiveness.

On Tuesday, Macron suggested during an address to the European parliament that the missile strikes likely did not “resolve anything” in the region, but were nevertheless “important” for preserving the ‘honor of the international community’.

“Those who are shocked by images of women, of children who have been attacked by chlorine, we need to stand up to defend our rights. What are we going to say, our rights and principles are just for us? No, that simply isn’t acceptable,” Macron said, according to AFP.

“These strikes don’t necessarily resolve anything but I think they were important,” said Macron, adding that the missile attack upheld “the honor of the international community”.

“Three countries have intervened, and let me be quite frank, quite honest — this is for the honor of the international community.”

The joint missile strikes by the US, Britain, and France were well “within a legitimate, multilateral framework, and in a very targeted way without any human victim, not a single human victim, to destroy three sites where chemical weapons were being produced or processed,” Macron added.

On Sunday, Macron claimed that he had persuaded President Donald Trump to target Syria’s chemical weapons program, and to abandon plans to withdraw the roughly 2,000 US soldiers currently deployed in Syria.

“We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term,” said Macron.

The Trump administration responded later that day, saying that the chemical weapon attack in Syria had only delayed plans to withdraw, and that the US still intends to remove its presence from the war-torn country.