In the aftermath of U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had nothing but praise for the move and granted it his “total support.”
“A year ago I gave Israel’s total support for (U.S.) President Donald Trump’s decision to mobilise against the use of chemical weapons,” Netanyahu said on Saturday in a statement, referring to strikes made against the Syrian regime by the U.S. back in April of 2017.
“Israel’s support remains unchanged,” he added. “This morning, the United States, France and the United Kingdom showed that their commitment is not limited to declarations of principles.”
The airstrikes late Friday night were carried out by the U.S., France and the U.K., and hit multiple targets near Damascus.
The decision to coordinate airstrikes against the Syrian regime came roughly a week after chemical weapons were used on the citizens of Douma, just outside Damascus.
The attack, allegedly given the green-light by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with backing from both Russia and Iran, left numerous dead and others injured as many were seen receiving immediate medical attention.
According to The Guardian, though the airstrikes have reduced Syria’s chemical weapons capability significantly, some infrastructure remains.
U.S. military personnel listed the targets in the strike, which included a scientific research facility, a chemical weapons storage facility and a third location reported to have contained a command post as well as chemical weapons equipment and storage facility.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis had called the strikes a “one-time shot,” adding that no additional military action had been planned as of yet, though they were the biggest foreign military strikes against Syria’s regime.
Although three key legal considerations had been met — convincing evidence, agreement by the international community and extreme humanitarian distress requiring immediate relief — opposers to the airstrikes, such as Russia, have claimed a retaliation is in order.
Netanyahu echoed similar sentiments of White House officials as he admitted his disapproval for Assad and his use of chemical weapons, warning that the Syrian president’s “ceaseless efforts to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction … put Syria in danger.”
The Israeli Prime Minister added that Assad’s “wanton disregard for international law and his provision of a forward base for Iran and its proxies endanger Syria.”
In an address to the nation late Friday night, Trump called the actions against innocent Syrians “evil and despicable” and explained why the airstrikes were so important.
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“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” Trump said. “Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States.”
“To Iran and to Russia I ask — what kind of regime wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?” he added.
And though Russian President Vladamir Putin is calling on an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting, the Pentagon chief spokesperson says the move to retaliate or not is in the hands of the Syrian government.
“It was a successful mission,” said Dana White. “What happened next depends on what the Assad regime decides to do.”
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