International leaders react to the US strike on Syria

International leaders react to the US strike on Syria
This Oct. 7, 2016 satellite image released by the US Department of Defense shows the Shayrat air base in Syria. (DigitalGlobe/US Department of Defense/AP)
Updated 07 April 2017

International leaders react to the US strike on Syria

International leaders react to the US strike on Syria

DUBAI: US President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered a massive military strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a “barbaric” chemical attack he blamed on President Bashar Assad.
There had been international outrage over Tuesday’s suspected chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians but Moscow stood by its Damascus ally and warned of the negative consequences of any military action

For its part, Syrian President Bashar Assad's office denounced the US strike, describing it as "reckless and irresponsible" in a statement on Friday.
The international community has also reacted, in comments ranging from praise to criticism.

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia said Friday that it “fully backs” a US air strike on a Syrian government airbase in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town.
“Saudi Arabia fully supports the US military operations against military targets in Syria, which were a response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians,” a foreign ministry official told the state SPA news agency.

The official said the regime had only itself to blame after “odious crimes it had committed for years against the Syrian people.”

He described US President Donald Trump as “courageous” for taking action when “the international community has failed to put a halt to the regime’s actions.”
Kremlin says US strike on Syria is “aggression against sovereign state in violation of international law“
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that US cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base broke international law and have seriously hurt US-Russia relations, news agencies cited the Kremlin as saying on Friday.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying that the Russian leader, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, regarded the US action as “aggression against a sovereign nation” on a “made-up pretext” and as a cynical attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq.

Peskov was quoted as saying that Russia did not believe that Syria possessed chemical weapons and that the US move would inevitably create a serious obstacle to creating an international coalition to fight terrorism, an idea that Putin has repeatedly pushed.

Turkey called for a no-fly zone in Syria following the strike.
"In order to prevent similar massacres from happening again, it is necessary to enforce a no-fly zone and create safe zones in Syria without further delay," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement.

French President Francois Hollande is convening an emergency defense meeting to discuss next steps in Syria and said he will hold the meeting with top security officials in Paris on Friday, as France tries to relaunch international peace negotiations for Syria.

Earlier on Friday, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that the United States informed France ahead of its strike.

“I was told by (US Secretary of State) Rex Tillerson during the night,” Ayrault told Reuters and France Info radio in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott where he is on a diplomatic visit.

“Use of chemical weapons is appalling and should be punished because it is a war crime,” he said, adding that Russia and Iran needed to understand that supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad made no sense, and that France was not seeking a confrontation with those two countries.

Meanwhile, French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Trump is trying to be the "world's policeman" with airstrikes on Syria andsuggested that it could backfire.
Le Pen has expressed support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in the past and said on France-2 television Friday that she was "surprised" by Trump's sudden move.
Iran said on Friday denounced the strike as “destructive and dangerous,” the Students News Agency ISNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.
“Iran ... condemns use of chemical weapons ... but at the same time believes it is dangerous, destructive and violation of international laws to use it as an excuse to take unilateral actions,” ISNA quoted Bahram Qasemi as saying.
“Iran strongly condemns any such unilateral strikes... Such measures will strengthen terrorists in Syria ... and will complicate the situation in Syria and the region.”
Tehran is Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main regional ally and has provided military and economic support to his fight against opposition groups and Daesh militants.

(With Agencies)