Macron says US, allies must stay in Syria even after IS

<p style="text-align: left;">French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with Fox News that the US, France and allies must remain in Syria after defeating the IS terror group to build a "new Syria" and counter Iran's influence in the region.

The French President said that "even after the end of the war against Daesh, the US, France and our allies, all countries in the region, even Russia and Turkey, will play an important role in creating a new Syria." "But to determine the future, of course, will be the Syrian people," he added.

Earlier, French right-wing National Front party leader Marine Le Pen stated that French involvement in the Western military strikes on Syria deprived Paris of an opportunity to play the role of an independent actor at the international arena.

France, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in the Damascus' suburb of Douma, Sputnik reported.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a total of 103 cruise missiles were launched by the United States and its allies, 71 of which were intercepted by Syria's air defense systems. Russia called on the OPCW to launch an investigation into the reported chemical attack.

Syria's President Bashar Assad has slammed the attack as an act of "aggression," while Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the airstrikes "violated the norms of international law, including the UN Charter and caused major damage to the process of peacefully settling the Syrian crisis.

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