French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that he has convinced President Donald Trump to stay in Syria for the long haul, according to local media reports.
Two weeks ago, Trump has expressed a strong desire to pull American troops out of Syria, but the president appears to be reconsidering in the wake of a coalition strike on the Syrian regime’s chemical warfare infrastructure in the aftermath of a deadly chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus. As for who is responsible for changing the president’s mind, Macron believes he was the deciding factor.
“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States of America had a duty to disengage from Syria,” Macron said in a television interview Sunday, according to AFP. “We convinced him it was necessary to stay. I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long-term.”
Speaking to Fox News, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained Sunday that the U.S. will not withdraw its forces from Syria until it accomplishes its three primary goals, which include defeating the Islamic State, preventing chemical weapons use, and securing a solid position to monitor Iranian activities in the region.
We hope “to see American troops come home,” she told reporters, “but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things.”
Her statement suggests U.S. troops in Syria are not going anywhere, despite the president’s assurances earlier this month that U.S. troops will be leaving Syria “very soon.”
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