NATO supports US-led strikes in Syria, UN calls for restraint

NATO supports US-led strikes in Syria, UN calls for restraint

BRUSSELS/ GENEVA
NATO supports US-led strikes in Syria, UN calls for restraint

While NATO has issued a strong statement of support for its three allies which launched a military strike against Syria over the suspected chemical attack of last weekend, the United Nations called for restraint.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on April 14 that the alliance "considers the use of chemical weapons unacceptable."

Stoltenberg said that the strike "will reduce the regime’s ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons."

He added that "those responsible must be held accountable."

The United Nations Secretary-General, meanwhile, said he is closely watching reports related to the airstrikes on Syria conducted by three of its permanent members.

Countries are obligated to act within the guidelines of the Charter of the United Nations and "international law in general," Antonio Guterres said in a statement on April 14.

“I call on the members of the Security Council to unite and exercise that responsibility,” Guterres said.

"I urge all 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.”

NATO, UN to hold emergency meetings

U.S., France and Britain are set to come together with and brief NATO allies on the strikes on Syria in an emergency meeting on April 14, Reuters reported.

The United Nations Security Council also will meet at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) on April 14 at Russia's request after U.S., British and French forces conducted air strikes on Syria involving more than 100 missiles.

Saudi Arabia 'fully supports' strikes

Saudi Arabia on April 14 expressed its full support for U.S.-led strikes on Syrian government military installations, saying they were a response to "regime crimes" against civilians.

"Saudi Arabia fully supports the strikes launched by the United States, France and Britain against Syria because they represent a response to the regime’s crimes," a foreign ministry statement said.

The statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said the strikes were prompted by the "Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians, including women and children".

Israeli official blames Iran for reported chemical attacks

The U.S.-led strikes on Syria are justified because of the "murderous actions" of the Damascus government, an Israeli official told the Associated Press.

"Last year (US) President Donald Trump said that the use of chemical weapons would violate a red line. This night, under America’s guidance, the United States, France and Britain acted accordingly (because) Syria continues to carry out its murderous actions," the official, who declined to be identified, was quoted as saying.

"Syria also serves as a base to carry out such action, namely on behalf of Iran, endangering its territory, its forces and its leadership," the official added.

Public radio said that Israel had been informed ahead of time of the strikes that were carried out by the United States, France and Britain.

Tensions have been running high between Israel and its arch-foe Iran, a key backer of the Syrian regime which provides military advisors and "volunteer" ground forces to Damascus.

On April 9, seven Iranian personnel were among 14 people killed in an early-morning strike on the T-4 airbase in Syria, with regime allies Iran and Russia blaming Israel for the attack. Israel did not deny or confirm any responsibility.

NATO, UN, Syria