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World scrambles to respond to Trump's strikes on Syria

Donald Trump [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 April, 2017

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World powers have voiced their opinions on US launching missile airstrikes on an air base in Syria, which took the world by surprise in he early hours of Friday.

The international community have voiced their opinions on US missile airstrikes on an airbase in Syria which took place in the early hours of Friday.

The attack was in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed scores of civilians, including at least 20 children, which has been blamed on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Various countries came out in support of US retaliation, insisting it was about time that the Assad regime finally received punishment for its brutal war on the Syrian people over the past six years.

The UK, the US' closest ally, was among the first to commend the airstrikes, with Defence Secretary Michael Fallon saying said it "fully supported" the strikes.

He added and that they were "appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack" and said they were "intended to deter further attacks".

The Chinese foreign ministry gave a nuanced respomse, saying it was "urgent" to avoid "further deterioration of the situation".

There were also a number of appraisals for the airstrikes throughout the Arab world.

Saudi Arabia, one of Assad's strongest foes, congratulated Trump on the move. Riyadh responded Trump's actions as "courageous" and said Washington had finally responded when "the international community had failed to put a halt to the regime's actions."

Turkey, which is also considered to be an enemy of the Syrian regime, likewise welcomed the strikes as a "positive" step, despite having unstable relations with the US itself.

Germany said the US response was "understandable" particularly after UN reaction.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault gave even stronger support saying, "The Russians and the Iranians must now understand that they cannot prop up Bashar al-Assad's regime... it cannot go on, it makes no sense."

So far, the only two countries to condemn the airstrikes are Russia and Iran. These two countries have invested diplomatic support, money and military manpower in supporting Assad's assault on the Syrian people.

The Kremlin had branded the airstrikes as "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international norms".

Read more: Russia still backing Syrian regime despite horrific sarin attack

It had also threatened the US, by saying the airstrikes inflicted "considerable damage" to already "lamentable" US-Russia ties.

Tehran said it "strongly condemned" the strike as it condemns "all unilateral military action".

This is in spite of the fact that Iran acknowledged the airstrikes happened under the "pretext" of the chemical strike.

Agencies contributed to this report

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