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World reacts to Trump assault on Syria

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Here is a look at reaction around the world to the U.S. missile attack against a Syrian airbase on Thursday.

Canada:

A spokesperson for Global Affairs said Canada supported “efforts to stop these atrocities,” adding Canada would have more to say Friday.

“Canada continues to condemn in the strongest of terms chemical weapons attacks against Syrian civilians. We have been in touch with our U.S. counterparts,” the statement read.

Russia:

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes the U.S. cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base broke international law and have seriously hurt U.S.-Russia relations, the Kremlin said .

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, regarded the U.S. 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 U.S. move would inevitably create a serious obstacle to creating an international coalition to fight terrorism, an idea that Putin has repeatedly pushed.

Britain:

“The U.K. government fully supports the U.S. 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,” a government spokesman said.

The spokesman said the strikes sent “a vitally important message” that the world would not tolerate the use of chemical weapons.

“The retribution has been proportionate and it has been swift,” he told reporters in Sydney. “We support the United States in that swift action.”

 

​France:

“I was told by [U.S. Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson  during the night,” said France’s Foreign Minister Ayrault 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 al-Assad made no sense, and that France was not seeking a confrontation with those two countries.

Iran:

“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,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted in a report by the Students News Agency ISNA.

He said Iran condemned the missile launch “regardless of the perpetrators and the victims” of Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack in Syria.

He also warned it would “strengthen terrorists” and further add to “the complexity of the situation in Syria and the region.”

Israel:

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the attack saying he “fully supports” U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday in a statement that “In both word and action” Trump “sent a strong and clear message” that “the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.”

Israel’s Channel 2 TV said Israel along with other allies was notified about the U.S. strike.

Australia:

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the “Australian government strongly supports the swift and just response of the United States.

“This was a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response. It sends a strong message to the Assad regime, and … has been struck at the very airfield from which the chemical attack was delivered.

“But we are not at war with the Assad regime and the United States have made it clear that they are not seeking to overthrow the Assad regime.”

Saudi Arabia:

A statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency blamed the government of Syria for the chemical weapons attack, praising the “courageous decision” by the U.S. to launch missile strikes on Syria over a deadly chemical weapons attack.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said the missile launch by Trump was the right response to “the crimes of this regime to its people in light of the failure of the international community to stop it.”

Poland:

“The United States for sure are a guarantor of world peace and order. And there are situations when you need to react, situations when you need to take actual action,” spokesman Rafal Bochenek told state television TVP Info.

“We have seen the abuses of the Syrian regime over the last years – no one had reacted to that,” Bochenek said.

Japan:

“Many innocent people became victims from the chemical attacks. The international community

was shocked by the tragedy that left many young children among the victims,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.

“Japan supports the U.S. government’s determination to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons,” he said.

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