While some world leaders praised the U.S.’s decision to attack a government air base in Syria in response to Tuesday’s fatal chemical attack, other leaders denounced the surprise missile strike.
Some World Leaders Welcome the U.S. Attack
Shortly after the attack, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu praised U.S. President Donald Trump for sending a “strong and clear message” to the Assad regime in Syria that the use of chemical weapons won’t be tolerated.
Netanyahu added that his country “fully supports” America’s actions in the region and that he hopes the latest attack would send a clear message to other similar regimes in Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two longtime U.S. allies, praised the military intervention too. The two states often called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s departure in the past. The Arabs called the airstrikes a “courageous decision” in the context of repeated failures from the international community to stop the bloodshed in Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also praised the decision, but he added that it is time for Assad to go.
In Europe, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel jointly blamed the Syrian leader for the recent “developments” as he has defied an international ban on the use of chemical weapons.
British Prime Minister Theresa May agrees the U.S.’ reaction is an “appropriate response” to the ‘barbaric’ chemical attack on civilians. May is confident Trump’s actions could help deter future similar actions.
Australia described America’s air strike as “calibrated and proportionate” and added that it should send a “strong message” to Damascus. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, however, underlined that the world and the U.S., in particular, is not at war with Syria and no one seeks to overthrow Assad.
The U.S. Cruise Missile Strike Draws Criticism Too
Nevertheless, some world leaders were outraged at the attack. Iran, who has been backing Assad for years, condemned the strikes as a dangerous, “unilateral action” that violates the international law.
Russia President Vladimir Putin also thinks the strikes violate the international law. He added that the Syrian chemical attack was an “invented pretext.”
The Syrian state media described the U.S. attack an “aggression” which can only “lead to losses.”
In the U.S., lawmakers in Congress are divided over the issue. The Trump administration is now in the hot seat for not asking the congressional approval before ordering the strikes. A U.S. president can unilaterally order such strike on a foreign state only if the United States is under attack.
Sen. Rand Paul on behalf of Congress condemned the atrocities in Syria, but he underlined that “the United States was not attacked.” He added that under the U.S. Constitution, Trump needs Congress’ approval before ordering such strikes.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer hailed the Trump administration’s decision but added that it should come up with a strategy and ask Congress’ permission to implement it. “I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today,” Schumer said.
Image Source: Kremlin.ru