Mr Hollande was referring to last Tuesday’s deadly sarin gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun that prompted US President Donald Trump to launch the US’ first direct military strike against the Syrian regime in more than six years of civil war.
He told newspaper Le Monde: “From the moment Mr Trump made this choice, regardless of how we interpret it – a domestic policy motivation, a one-off strike, a desire to impress or simply his unpredictability – he got the ball rolling and created an opportunity which must now be used politically by France, by Europe, to get warring parties to negotiate."
François Hollande said the EU must use the US’ missile strike on Syria to revive peace talks
Last week’s gas attack prompted Donald Trump to launch a military strike against the Syrian regime
The Socialist head of state added that the chemical weapons attack that claimed the lives of at least 86 people, including 28 children, was not a provocation by the Assad regime.
He continued: “I do not think that it was a provocation. The regime feels that it can act with total impunity. And this is not its first attack.
"He (Mr al-Assad) thought that people would be sickened by the attack, but he did not think that it would provoke such outrage.”
The chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun claimed at least 86 lives
Horrific images depict sickening chemical gas attack in Syria
Tue, April 4, 2017
At least 58 people, including nine children, were killed in an air raid that released "toxic gas" on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun
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A child receiving treatment at a field hospital after an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, northen Syria
The Syrian government, he continued, had wanted to destroy the rebel-held town and cause casualties: “Intelligence suggests that the nerve gas attack was not a mistake or an attempt to cause chaos.
He got the ball rolling and created an opportunity which must now be used politically
"The air strike was tactical in nature, the government wanted to show rebels who holds the power. The aim was to kill them and civilians.”
Mr Hollande added that Mr Trump remained “unpredictable,” and that world leaders could not always follow his lead.
“Mr Trump did not wait for the UN Security Council meeting… He chose to act alone, probably because he wanted to show the world that he is not Obama…
Mr Hollande said Mr Trump remained ‘unpredictable’ and that he could not ’do everything alone’
"He is unpredictable… But we must make him understand that multilateralism is best.
"If he wants to do everything alone, he will not be able to ask his allies for money.”
Mr Hollande added that the anti-Islamic State coalition had to maintain cordial relations with Russia ahead of the Raqqa offensive, despite the fact that Kremlin officials on Wednesday blocked a draft UN resolution to denounce the gas attack in a bid to shield their ally, Mr al-Assad.
The Syrian government has denied any involvement in the chemical attack.