‘Legitimate, proportional step’: US allies praise strikes on Syria

‘Legitimate, proportional step’: US allies praise strikes on Syria

US allies have joined together in welcoming and justifying the strikes on Syria, which were conducted without approval from the UN Security Council. It followed claims Assad launched a chemical attack in Douma last week.

The US, supported by France and the UK, launched a barrage of missiles targeting several sites in Syria late. Shortly after the attack, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called it “legitimate, proportional and targeted.” He then accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, which poses a threat to international security.

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READ MORE: US-led strikes on Syria likely aimed at thwarting OPCW probe into ‘chemical attack’– Russian senator

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that Paris has evidence of Syria’s possession of chemical weapons, despite the destruction of the weapons being confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) years ago.

The UK was also quick to praise the move. “Welcome the news of UK military strikes against major chemical weapons facilities in Syria alongside our US and French allies,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted.

NATO ally Turkey, which is waging its own military operation against Kurdish militias in northern Syria, also weighed in.

“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 Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

The foreign ministry also stated that Turkish Incirlik Air Base was not used by any of its partners to launch the strikes.

European Council President Donald Tusk did not waste the opportunity to hit out at Russia and Iran. “Syrian regime together with Russia & Iran cannot continue this human tragedy, at least not without cost,” he tweeted, adding that “the EU will stand with our allies on the side of justice.”

All of this comes in the absence of publicly-available proof or any conclusions from the OPCW, which has not checked the site of the alleged chemical weapon attack. Another part of the organization’s fact finding-mission is scheduled to come to Syria on Saturday. Earlier, Russian specialists on the ground maintained that there were no traces of chemicals.

During the past week, Western leaders were in an apparent rush to blame the Syrian government of conducting the chemical attack in the town of Douma. Their bellicose rhetoric was based on reports from jihadists-linked sources, including the infamous White Helmets group.

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