West, Turkey, Saudi Arabia express support for US strikes; IDF was informed ahead of mission in Syria; PM: the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated
The United States launched 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the USS Porter and USS Ross early Friday morning targeting the Shayrat base that was used to store and deploy chemical weapons in Syria.
The strikes were in response to chemical attacks carried out by Assad’s regime on Tuesday in on the region of Idlib. Over 100 died as a result of the attack, with hundreds move injured. On Thursday, Turkey’s Health Ministry confirmed that sarin gas was used after it performed an autopsy on three of the victims from the attack.
United States President Trump announced the strikes Thursday night, stating that they were a matter of “vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” the President citing Syria’s violation of the Chemical Weapons Conventions as well as ignoring of the United Nations Security Council.
Trump called on “civilized nations” to “join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and types.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed Israel’s support for the United States strikes carried out in Syria Friday, Netanyahu stating “In both word and action, President Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision and hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed the prime minister stating on Friday that the strikes sent a “necessary message from the entire free world, led by the United Stated, that it will note tolerate the war crimes of Bashar Assad’s regime against innocent civilians.”
The IDF also confirmed that the Pentagon informed Israel of the strikes ahead of time.
Strong support for the strikes was expressed from the West, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with world leaders expressing support for action against Assad’s regime. Russia and Iran, however, condemned the attacks.
Russia deemed the strikes as illegal and as a “serious blow” to US-Russia relations, while insisting the Syrian army has no chemical weapons, Russia’s Foreign Ministry releasing the statement “This move by Washington has dealt a serious blow to Russian-US relations, which are already in a poor state. The Syrian Army has no chemical weapons.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that “The presence itself of military personnel from the US and other countries on the territory of Syria without the permission of the government of that country or a resolution of the U.N. Security Council is a gross, clear and in now way justified violation of international law. If before it was explained as a mission in the battle against terrorism, now it is a clear act of aggression against a sovereign Syria. The taking of these actions by the US today yet further undermines Russo-American relations.”
Iran claimed the strikes will strengthen terrorism in Syria, Iran’s Foreign Ministry responding to the event stating “The Islamic Republic, as the biggest victim of chemical weapons in modern history, condemns any application of such weapons, regardless of the perpetrators and victims. Such measures will strengthen terrorists in Syria … and will complicate the situation in Syria and the region.”