While the fallout from the US airstrike that hit the Syrian airbase at Shayrat on Thursday night was mixed here in the United States, the majority of the reactions coming from the international community is one of mainly support.
At 3:45 a.m. local time, US Navy warships launched a reported 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian airbase, located near the city of Homs. It was from this base that Syrian air forces used to bomb their own people on Tuesday in a chemical weapons attack that killed scores including children in an early morning raid.
President Trump said that after seeing the video of the victims in the chemical air attack, his thinking had changed on Syria and the US moved forward with the attack to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using the base as a staging area for any more attacks in the future.
Although Russia and Syrian state television blasted the move as “aggression,” leaders from around the world solemnly praised the act as a measured and fair response to dictator Bashar al-Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons in the town of Idlib on Tuesday.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said 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.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters that the Australian government supported the “swift and just response” of the U.S. airstrikes.
“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,” Turnbull said.
Turkey welcomed the airstrike, calling it an “important and meaningful” development, but urged the world to take an even tougher stance on Assad.
“We see the (airstrikes) as positive, but we believe that this should be completed,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said. “The Assad regime’s barbarism must immediately be stopped.”
The Russians and the Iranians roundly condemned the attacks as they are supporters of the Assad regime in Damascus. Russian envoy to the UN Vladimir Safronkov said Russia had warned the U.S. to “think about what military actions have led to in Iraq, Libya, and other countries.” The Iranians characterized the strike as a “unilateral action that is dangerous, destructive and violates principles of international law.”
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