The President of France has confirmed the planned visit to Russian Federation

Brigitte Macron

The President of France has confirmed the planned visit to Russian Federation

President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that France's air strikes in Syria in response to an alleged chemical attack were not a declaration of war against the Damascus regime.

The French president said on Sunday that Paris had convinced the USA administration to "stay in Syria long term". "We convinced him it was necessary to stay", Macron told three media outlets.

She added that the United States still wants to "crush ISIS" and expects regional allies to help securing the region.

"I share none of his values, but there he is", Macron said, expressing worry at the rise of what he called "illiberal democracies" in Europe.

"This (a chemical attack) very easily could happen in the United States if we're not smart, and if we're not conscious of what's happening", she said.

A day after France joined the United States and Britain in launching unprecedented strikes against regime targets, Macron insisted the intervention was legitimate and urged global powers to now push for a diplomatic solution to the brutal seven-year war.

The French president nevertheless said he wanted to engage in dialogue with all parties involved, including Moscow, in order to find a political solution for Syria.

The United States, Britain and France said they only hit Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and the strikes were not aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or intervening in the civil war. "With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this".

Macron added that the strikes on Syria had been "perfectly carried out".

Mr Macron said he still wanted dialogue with all parties, including Russian Federation, to try to find a political solution and would go ahead with a planned trip to Moscow next month.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said no further strikes were planned, but that this would be reassessed if more chemical attacks took place. The Syrian leadership denied any involvement in the attack and invited the experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the reports. It wouldn't be the first time he'd changed his mind on Syria, after all.

The inspectors will investigate the site of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, which the Western allies believe killed dozens of people with the use of chlorine gas and possibly Sarin. There are no changes to his planned trip to Russian Federation next month, he said.

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

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