War against IS will be won by February: French President
Updated: Dec 18, 2017 05:21 IST
Paris [France], Dec 18 (ANI): French President Emmanuel Macron has said that the war against terrorist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria will be won by February.
"We have just won the war in Iraq with the coalition," the French President said in an interview with France 2 television.
"And I think that by the middle to the end of February, we will have won the war in Syria," he added.
While describing the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, as "an enemy of the Syrian people", Macron insisted, "We have to speak to Assad and his representatives."
However, the French President emphasised that the priority for the United States-led coalition is "the extermination" of the jihadist group rather than throwing out the Syrian president.
Macron also mentioned that Assad will not be leaving Syria after the defeat of IS.
"Bashar al-Assad will be there," he said. "He will be there because he is protected by those who have won the war on the ground, whether it's Iran or Russia."
Assad "will have to respond to his crimes before his people, before the international courts," he added.
Macron stated that for France, the priority is to build a political solution for maintaining peace in the country.
"France's plan is to win peace, de-mine the country, to de-militarise it and build a political solution that will allow a durable peace, which means all minorities being protected, Christians, Shiites and Sunnis," Macron said. (ANI)