In recent weeks Paris has intensified diplomatic and military efforts in the region. On Saturday, France along with the United States and the United Kingdom launched over 100 missiles attacking targets in Syria allegedly linked with chemical weapons program in response to the reported use of such weapons in the town of Duma. Paris with its partners has also drafted a resolution on Syria, which is reportedly expected to address the chemical weapons issue, as well as political and humanitarian issues.
On Sunday, Macron gave a big interview to a number of French media outlets. In this interview the French leader said that he had persuaded Trump to keep US troops on Syrian soil despite the intention of the US leader to withdraw the servicemen from the Middle Eastern nation.
FRANCE NEEDS US IN SYRIA
Karim Pakzad, a research fellow specializing in Middle Eastern policies at the IRIS institute, told Sputnik that Macron needed Trump's support in the Middle East as only the United States had real power among other Western nations.
"Why does Macron try to convince Trump to stay in Syria? Because France is losing in the Syrian war for 7 years already. If tomorrow the Syrian regime wins the war will be in a weak position vis-a-vis Damascus. That’s why France tries to impose itself through the rebels. But it’s incapable of leading this policy alone, it needs the United States, which is the main force," Pakzad said.
Benjamin Hautecouverture from the Foundation for Strategic Research think tank told Sputnik that Macron and Trump had a number of differences on many issues, but France needed the United States in order to achieve its goals in many areas, including security, deterrence and arms control.
"President Macron … by his political position is very different from the American president, but he decided at the very inception that France and the United States are close allies and then he had and he would always have to work with the United States, even if the two countries have different positions on many subjects," the French scholar said.
Hautecouverture said that Paris could conduct an attack on Syria on its own, but Washington and London supported "the idea of an intervention."
He added that Paris had also exerted efforts to gather the support of other countries in order to justify the recent strike and obtained the backing of many members of the international community.
"France also tried to find the political and diplomatic support of many other states, including Canada, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many other countries in the world. The purpose was to create an ad-hoc coalition in order to have this type of international right devoted to security respected, and then in order to have a powerful position to have the strikes supported," Hautecouverture said.
According to Pakzad, Paris and Washington consider that they are losing influence in Syria due to the recent victories of the troops of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the problems of forces backed by the Western states.
"In Syria, we see that Assad’s government, with Iranians and Russians, is winning the war. And France, like many western states, is engaged, also military, in supporting the rebels, who are salafists or jihadists, even if we don’t talk about it … The United States and France think they lost the war in Syria, but at the same time they don’t accept abandoning Syria to Iran and Russia," the scholar said.
The expert added that at the same time the Western nations face the problem of convincing the public that backing Islamist groups fighting against a secular government was the right course of action to take.
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