PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday the death of four Americans in Syria this week showed that the battle against Islamic State militants would continue and he vowed that France would keep its troops in the region this year.
"The announced withdrawal of our American ally should not deflect us from our strategic objective to eradicate Daesh (Islamic State)", Macron said in a speech in Toulouse to the armed forces.
Citing the death of 16 people, including four Americans, in a suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, near the border with Turkey, Macron said the next few months would be decisive.
"We will remain militarily engaged in the Levant in the international coalition (...) over the coming year," he said.
(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Leigh Thomas)