French leader defends strikes in Syria

By Hajer M'tiri

STRASBOURG (AA)- French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday fiercely defended the strikes against chemical facilities of the Syrian regime, saying they were conducted "for the honor of the international community".

Addressing MEPs at the European parliament, Macron said: "Three countries have intervened and, I say it to you very frankly: for the honor of the international community."

He recalled that France, the U.K. and the U.S. had intervened "in a legitimate" way to destroy "three chemical weapons production and processing sites" and he stressed that there were no victims.

"Let's look at our principles and ask where we want to go: These strikes do not solve anything, but they put an end to a system to which we had become accustomed, which is that, in a way, the side of the rule of law would have become the camp of the weak," Macron said.

The French leader said he had "declared war on no one" other than Daesh unlike Bashar al-Assad who "leads a parallel war against the Syrian people and his opponents".

On Saturday, France in coordination with the U.S. and the U.K. conducted a series of military strikes targeting the Assad regime's chemical weapons capabilities in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta, on April 7.

The strikes targeted the Assad regime's chemical weapons research center near Damascus, a chemical weapons warehouse and a command center related to chemical weapons located west of Homs, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said.

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