President Trump garners Arab, international praise for decisive action

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

Saudi Arabia said Friday it supported the US strikes on a Syrian airbase and held the regime responsible for the attacks.

In a phone call with President Trump Friday, King Salman congratulated the US president “on this courageous decision which serves the interests of the region and the world.”

The UAE said the US had its “full support” and praised Trump’s “courageous and wise decision.”

Bahrain said the strike was “needed to stop the bloodshed.”

The British government said it was informed in advance about the strikes, and firmly supports the American action.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s office called it “an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime,” saying it was “intended to deter further attacks.”

French President Francois Hollande said the strikes were a response to the chemical attack, and planned an emergency defense meeting to discuss next steps in Syria.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed Turkey’s support for the US strike. “This regime must be removed from leading Syria as soon as possible and the best way to do that is by starting the transitional process,” he said. Pointing to Assad’s “continuing crimes against humanity,” he also warned of further refugee flows from the conflict.

Jamil Al-Saleh, a Syrian opposition commander in the central Hama province, called for more strikes, saying “Bashar’s regime only understands force.”

He said he hoped the missile attack “is a turning point and not a passing thing.”

The Syrian Coalition, an opposition group, said the US attack puts an end to an age of “impunity” and should herald the start of a larger campaign.

Italy said the strikes on Syria were “proportionate” given the “war crimes” committed by the Assad regime in using chemical weapons against its own people. It said the US strikes would deter future chemical attacks.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the Syrian regime “bears the full responsibility” for the strike. He said that “any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, cannot go unanswered, and those responsible must be held accountable.”

The victims of Tuesday’s chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun, which killed more than 80 people and wounded dozens more, welcomed the strike but feared it would be a one-off.

Alaa Alyousef, a 27-year-old survivor, called for a no-fly zone to protect civilians.


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