The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, supports Washington’s strike
Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / April 7, 2017
The American launching of missiles against positions of Bashar al Asad’s Syrian ArabArmy was described this Friday by Damascus’ ally, Russia, as an “aggression to a sovereign State” and has threatened to end the military agreement it has with the US to eliminate the Daesh (ISIS). Earlier today, the White House made a surprise attack in retaliation for the controversial chemical attack they claim Assad ordered, which last Tuesday ended with the life of 86 people in the Syrian city of Jan Sheijun.
The international community has had mixed reactions; from the support of US allies Germany, France, United Kingdom and Australia, to the prudence of China, which asks to Washington to avoid “eroding the situation again”.
RUSSIA. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, accused the White House of using an excuse for the attack, and of having planned the military intervention in Syria with anticipation to the chemical attack. Russia denounced that the American intervention violates International Law and has decided to suspend the agreement with the US that avoided aerial incidents at Syria.
NATO. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has supported the attack and blamed President Bashar al Asad for Washington’s decision. “The Syrian regime is the sole responsible of the course taken. NATO has condemned the use of chemical weapons as clear violation of international rules. Any use is unacceptable and cannot be left unresponded”, justified the General Secretary of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.
FRANCE AND GERMANY. France and Germany consider Al Assad as the “sole resposible” for the American bombing of Syria. In a joint communiqué, France’s president, François Hollande, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, stated that “the continued use of chemical weapons and massive crimes” allegedly perpetrated by Damascus “cannot remain unpunished”, and urged the international community “to join in favour of a political transition in Syria”, citing resolution No. 2254 of the United Nations Security Council and the Ginebra communiqué.
SAUDI ARABIA. United States’ main ally in the Middle East has lead the support to the attack, and social networks have become an applause chamber under the hashtag (in Arab) #America_hits_Asads_Regime. For Riad, it is about “the response to the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians” and the responsibility lays on “dictator Bashar al Assad”. Saudi Arabia’s monarchs have been asking for Washington’s intervention for long and Obama’s refsal was one of the motives of the distance with his administration.
TURKEY. Turkey celebrated the US attack against the aerial base of Sharyat as a response for the recent chemical attack at Jan Sheijun. Also, the office of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the government, asked for more severe measures against Bashar al Assad. “It is necessary to create a no-fly zone and safe areas in Syria (to accommodate the displaced population)”, affirmed the Turkish spokesman, Ibrahim kalin, who considered the bombing of the Sharyan base as “an important step to ensure the punishment of those who use chemical and conventional attacks against the population”.
IRAN. “[The attack] just strengthens terrorists”. The main ally of the Al Assad, along with Russia, expressed a “firm rejection against this kind of unilateral attacks”, according to a spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Since the beginning of the revolts in Syria, the Republic of Iran has offered and given military and financial aid to Bashar al Assad.
EUROPEAN UNION. The European Council President, Donald Tusk, has showed a surprising support towards Donald Trump’s strategy. “USA’s attacks show a necessary determination against the barbaric chemical attacks. The EU shall work with the USA to end the brutality in Syria” stated at Tweeter.
The affirmation contradicts the posture that the communitary union has had from the beginning in reward of the Syrian war: that the EU shall not be a military actor since the solution should be political (even though several countries of the union actively participate in the international coalition against ISIS). The European representative of exterior politics, Federica Mogherini, reacted to Trump’s action in a different way. She contextualizes the American attack within the “comprehensible intention to avoid the spreading of deadly chemical weapons” but she also adds: “The EU firmly believes that there can not be a military solution to the conflict”.
CHINA. Beijing has reacted moderately to the bombing, which took place while Trump was receiving the president Xi Jinping at his private club of Mar-a-Lago. American officials assured Trump informed to Xi Jinping about the action. Although it’s common for China to oppose or refrain from supporting any decision that condemns Bashar al Assad’s presidency, in his daily press conference, the Chinese Exterior Matters Minister asked to “avoid the deterioration of the situation” and condemned “the use of chemical weapons in the hands of any country, organization or individual, no matter the circumstances and objectives”.
In the conversations Trump and Xi held on Thursday and Friday, one of the main topics was North Korea’s weapons program. The American president wants China to increase the pressure on Kim Jong-un’s regime in order to stop it, on the contrary he threatens to act in an unilateral way on Pyongyang. At the moment, the attack on Syria makes us think about a message to North Korea.
ISRAEL. Benjamín Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, unsurprisingly expressed his full support to the “strong and clear message” sent by America to Syria.
SWEDEN. Although Sweden, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, condemns the chemical attack that took place in Syria, its Government has its doubts about the legitimacy of the American attack. “It’s important for these acts have a legal base. It is unclear if bombing is compatible with international law. That’s why the issue must be handled by the UN Security Council, which has to be accountable for achieving a lasting political solution”. pointed out the Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister, Margot Wallström.