NATO blamed on Friday the Assad regime for the United States bombing of Syria’s Shaerat airbase in Homs, justifying it as a reaction to the chemical attack carried out this week against civilians.
“The Syrian regime bears the full responsibility for this development. NATO has consistently condemned Syria’s continued use of chemical weapons as a clear breach of international norms and agreements,” NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.
Stoltenberg stressed that “any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, cannot go unanswered, and those responsible must be held accountable.” He added: “NATO considers the use of chemical weapons as a threat to international peace and security.”
The US missile strikes on the Assad regime’s airbase demonstrated “needed resolve” against chemical attacks, EU President Donald Tusk said.
“US strikes show needed resolve against barbaric chemical attacks,” tweeted Tusk, adding the bloc will work with the US to “end brutality” in Syria.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EU executive, expressed his support for the US decision. “President Juncker has been unequivocal in his condemnation of the use of chemical weapons,” a Commission statement said. “The repeated use of such weapons must be answered. He understands efforts to deter further attacks,” it said.
Juncker made “a clear distinction” between US missile strikes on a military base and the use of “chemical weapons against civilians.”
Members of the US Congress from both parties on Friday backed President Donald Trump’s cruise missile strikes on Assad’s airbase, but demanded he develop a strategy for dealing with the broader conflict and consult with Congress on any further action.
Raed Saleh, head of the volunteer rescue group Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, also responded to the strike on social media.
“America’s targeting of Shaerat airport from which the airplanes that hit Khan Sheikhoun with chemical rockets exited is a step in the direction to stop the killing of civilians in Syria,” Saleh tweeted.
Saleh addressed international community, human rights organizations, the Arab and Islamic world urging them to take urgent action to support the Syrian people who are being subjected to a genocidal war by the criminal forces of Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)