Trump explains why he launched air strikes on Syria

Posted April 08, 2017

President Vladimir Putin believes that US cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base broke global law and have seriously hurt US-Russia relations, Russian news agencies cited the Kremlin as saying on Friday.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, one of the European Union's governing bodies, vowed to work with the U.S.to end "brutality" in Syria and blasted the Assad administration's alleged chemical strikes as "barbaric". Many were wounded and several homes were badly damaged in the missile strike, the news agency reported.

Mr Trump said he had acted in America's "vital national security interest" to prevent the use of chemical weapons.

Fallon called on Russian Federation to use its leverage with Assad to end the Syrian war, and said that "we will all be working much harder" to achieve a political settlement. "Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched", Trump said.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The UK government fully supports the United States action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is meant to deter further attacks".

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was keen to stress, though, that the attack was not the beginning of an worldwide campaign as seen in other troubled Middle Eastern countries like Iraq. So we don't see it as the start of a different military campaign.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley shows pictures of Syrian victims of chemical attacks as she addresses a meeting of the Security Council on Syria at U.N. headquarters, in New York, April 5, 2017.

"I would tell you that the response from our allies, as well as the region and the Middle East has been overwhelmingly supportive of the action we taken", Tillerson said. "The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!"

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"But unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification risks intensifying a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people".

"The awful suffering of the Syrian people must be brought to an end as soon as possible and every intervention must be judged on what contribution it makes to that outcome".

Iran, which along with Russian Federation has long backed Assad in his attempt to crush his opponents, denounced the US airstrikes.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's office denounced the US strike as "reckless, irresponsible behavior". The strike was also condemned by Iran, another Assad ally.

In Turkey, home to more than three million Syrian refugees, officials described the airstrikes tha struck the Sharyat airbase in Homs, Syria as a "positive response". He reiterated calls to "enforce a no-fly zone and create safe zones" for civilians in Syria "without further delay". "We can not stand by, we must act".

In 2013, the House of Commons blocked British participation in an anticipated US -led air campaign against Assad - a move that contributed to then-President Barack Obama's decision to scuttle those plans.

American officials believe the mid-week chemical attack which targeted many civilians was launched by a Syrian government aircraft, using a nerve agent, possibly sarin.