Syrian Airstrikes — Global Reactions
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IndraStra Global

Syrian Airstrikes — Global Reactions

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital early April 14, 2018, in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. / Source: Hassan Ammar / AP

Image Attribute: The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital early April 14, 2018, in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. / Source: Hassan Ammar/AP

On April 14, 2018, the United States and its allies (Britain and France) carried out a wave of precision airstrikes against incumbent Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Douma (outskirt of Damascus) that President Donald Trump-branded the "crimes of a monster."

The Syrian government has repeatedly dismissed the alleged chemical attack in Douma as a fabrication by the rebels and their foreign supporters to justify military strikes on Syria. "The aggression is a flagrant violation of international law, a breach of the international community's will, and it is doomed to fail," the official SANA news agency said.

The U.S. and its allies fired more than 100 cruise missiles at Syria, a significant number of which were intercepted by Syrian air defenses, the Russian defense ministry said Saturday.

✔️= For  ❌= Not For/ Against 🔶 = Neutral


Australia, a staunch ally of the U.S. and a member of the Five Eyes security alliance, was not a part of the attacks on Damascus and Homs but issued a statement lending its support to the coalition’s actions.

Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister, said in a statement jointly issued with the foreign and defense ministers: "The use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is illegal and utterly reprehensible."


The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, issued a statement from Lima, Peru, where he is attending the Summit of the Americas. "Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons in last week's attack in eastern Ghouta, Syria." However, he has ruled out Canadian participation in the strikes but said that Canada supports the decision by its allies in the US, the United Kingdom, and France.

"When it comes to this use of chemical weapons, it is clear to Canada that chemical weapons were used and that they were used by the Assad regime," said Chrystia Freeland, Canadian foreign minister.


China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's made a remark - "As always, we oppose the use of force in international relations and call for respect for other countries' sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. Any unilateral military action bypassing the Security Council runs contrary to the purpose and principles of the UN Charter and violates the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, and will further complicate the Syrian issue. China urges the relevant parties to return to the framework of international law and resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiation."

"The Chinese side believes a comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation should be conducted into the suspected chemical attacks and it should come up with reliable conclusions ... Before this, no conclusion by any side should be made," Hua said.


On Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the joint military action as justified, limited and proportionate and said it's objectives had been realized. 

"A large part of his chemical arsenal has been destroyed," Le Drian told France's BFMTV in an interview, referring to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Macron's decision to join the military action is a sharp break from his predecessor, Francois Hollande. Hollande also pushed for strikes against the Syrian regime following a chemical attack. But when the United States did not act, under former President Barack Obama, France's military stayed put as well.  


German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her support Saturday for U.S.-led joint airstrikes in Syria, describing them as a "necessary and appropriate" measure to hinder the Syrian government's potential future use of chemical weapons and make sure international responses to their use remain effective.

"We support the fact that our American, British and French allies have taken responsibility in this way as permanent members of the UN Security Council," Merkel said.


Responding to queries regarding the recent strikes in Syria, India' s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "We have taken note of the recent strikes in Syria. India is closely following the situation. The alleged use of chemical weapons, if true, is deplorable. We call for an impartial and objective investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to establish the facts." 

"In the meantime, we urge all Parties to show restraint and to avoid any further escalation in the situation. The matter should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations, and on the basis of the principles of the UN Charter and in accordance with international law. We hope that the long drawn suffering of the people of Syria would come to an end soon," the spokesperson noted while making it clear that India doesn't favor military strikes in Syria.


Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said an attack on Syria by the United States, France, and Britain on Saturday was a crime and would not achieve any gains.

"Today's dawn attack on Syria is a crime. I clearly declare that the president of the United States, the president of France and the British prime minister are criminals," Khamenei said in a speech, according to his Twitter handle.

"They will not benefit (from the attack) as they went to Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan in the past years and committed such crimes and did not gain any benefits," Khamenei said.

Iran has been Assad's staunchest ally in a seven-year civil war against Sunni rebels. Iran-backed militias helped his army stem rebel advances and, following Russia’s entry into the war in 2015, turn the tide decisively in Assad’s favor.


In an official statement, Iraqi foreign ministry called theses airstrikes - "a very dangerous development."

"Such action could have dangerous consequences, threatening the security and stability of the region and giving terrorism another opportunity to expand after it was ousted from Iraq and forced into Syria to retreat to a large extent," it said. The Iraqi government called on Arab leaders to discuss the situation at a summit due to be held in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan supports the decision by the United States, Britain, and France to launch precision air strikes on Syria, targeting sites which are allegedly having chemical weapons capabilities.

"The Japanese government supports the resolve of the United States, Britain, and France not to allow the proliferation or use of chemical weapons," Abe told reporters in Tokyo after a meeting of the National Security Council.


In a statement issued by the Kremlin, the Russian President called Syrian airstrikes by allies as an as an "act of aggression". Moscow is calling an emergency meeting of the United Nations' Security Council over the strike launched by the US, Britain, and France. Putin added that Russian military experts who inspected Douma found no trace of the attack. He criticised the US and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog to visit the area.


A foreign ministry statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), said: "Saudi Arabia fully supports the strikes launched by the United States, France, and Britain against Syria because they represent a response to the regime's crimes." Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have been key backers of Syrian opposition groups fighting Assad.


Turkey has welcomed the airstrikes against the Assad regime in the wake of a suspected chemical attack. In a statement on Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry termed the airstrikes as an "appropriate response".  

"We welcome this operation which has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the regime," the ministry said. 


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called for restraint and for countries to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation in Syria after the United States, France, and Britain carried out strikes. 

"There’s an obligation, particularly when dealing with matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nations and with international law in general. The UN Charter is very clear on these issues," Guterres said in a statement.

Guterres delayed a planned trip to Saudi Arabia to deal with the aftermath of the military action. UN partner the OPCW has deployed a fact-finding mission to the area.

"I urge all member states to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people," Guterres said in a statement.