World backs US airstrikes in Syria, except Russia & Iran

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Washington: File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photo - AP/PTI

FILE: Washington: File photo of US President Donald Trump.
Photo – AP/PTI

World leaders have hailed the US military strike on Syria, except Russia and Iran. Both these countries have strongly condemned the attack.

Nations like the UK and Israel have backed US’ retaliation as a “just” response to the chemical attack by President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.

The UK government said it “fully supports” the US missile strike against an air base in Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhun on Tuesday in which 86 people, including 27 children, were killed.

“The UK government fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is intended to deter further attacks,” said a 10 Downing Street spokesperson.

UK defence secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC that the UK had been in “close contact” with the US over the last few days and that British Prime Minister Theresa May had been “informed throughout”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he supported the “strong and clear message” sent by the US.

“In both word and action, President (Donald) Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.

European Union, Germany, France and Italy, all blamed the Assad regime to say that the US response was appropriate.

NATO, Saudi Arabia and Turkey too gave thumbs up to US strikes.

Meanwhile, Russia, one of the closest allies of the regime of Assad, said it considers the US strike as “aggression against a sovereign state” which will further harm US-Russia ties.

“President Putin considers American strikes on Syria aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international norms, and under an invented pretext,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“The Syrian army does not have any chemical weapon stockpiles,” Peskov added.

“The fact of destruction of all chemical weapon stockpiles of the Syrian armed forces was recorded and confirmed by the (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons).”

“This step by Washington inflicts considerable damage to US-Russia relations, which are already in a lamentable state,” Peskov added.

Russia also called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the US missile strikes.

Iran supported Rssia in condemning the military strike.

“We condemn all unilateral military action and the missile strike by US warships against Shayrat airbase under the pretext of Tuesday’s suspected attack on Khan Sheikhun,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi told the Fars news agency.

China on the other hand, condemned the the deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria but made no mention of US’ airstrikes. Interestingly, the US military exercise in Syria comes at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the US to meet President Trump.

(With inputs from agencies)