World leaders react to the airstrikes in Syria carried out by the US, UK and French forces following the latest in a series of alleged chemical attacks by Bashar al Assad’s regime.
In a statement, Damascus branded the move illegal. Its foreign ministry said: “The Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the brutal American-British-French aggression against Syria, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law.”
The Kremlin strongly denounced the missile strikes and said it was calling an emergency session of the UN Security Council.
In a statement, it said: “Russia severely condemns the attack on Syria where Russian military are helping the lawful government in the fight with terrorism.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, branded Donald Trump, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron “criminals” following the joint military operation.
“The attack this morning against Syria is a crime,” he said. “The American President, the French President and the British Prime Minister are criminals, they will gain nothing from it.”
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has said the airstrikes in Syria could allow terrorism to expand in the region and branded the move a “very dangerous development”.
It said: “Such action could have dangerous consequences, threatening the security and stability of the region and giving terrorism another opportunity to expand after it was ousted from Iraq and forced into Syria to retreat to a large extent.”
A statement released by the country’s official news agency expressed support for the military action to stop further chemical attacks in Syria.
Ankara hailed the move before accusing the Syrian regime of “crimes against humanity”.
Its foreign ministry said: “We welcome this operation which has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of the attack in Douma.”
China said it was “opposed to the use of force” and called for a political solution and a a “return to the framework of international law”.
:: Germany and others in Europe
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the move and said the strikes were a “necessary and appropriate military intervention”.
The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Czech Republic have all defended the airstrikes.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, said the European Union “will stand with our allies on the side of justice”.
“Strikes by US, France and UK make it clear that Syrian regime together with Russia & Iran cannot continue this human tragedy, at least not without cost,” he tweeted.
Nato Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg said in a statement he backed the US, UK and France in their action “against the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities and capabilities”.
He added: “This will reduce the regime’s ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons.”
:: United Nations
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged member states to “show restraint in these dangerous circumstances” and to “avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people”.