Netanyahu: 'Full Support' for US Syria Strikes

16 April, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Israel: Iran drone intercepted in Feb was Strike Assignment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday backed the joint airstrikes carried out by the US, United Kingdom and France on Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack.

"Trump's resolve and Israel's support remain unchanged", Netanyahu said. The Douma attack killed over 40 people, with hundreds wounded by exposure to chemical agents.

The Israeli prime minister also expressed Israel's growing concerns over Iran's efforts to establish a presence in Syria.

"It should be clear to President Assad", he said, "that his reckless efforts to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction, his wanton disregard for global law, and his provision of a forward base for Iran and its proxies endanger Syria".

"The United States and its allies have no proof and, without even waiting for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to take a position, have carried out this military attack", said the foreign ministry in a statement. A USA embassy spokesperson confirmed the Israeli official's comment to Reuters.

Netanyahu called on Western powers to take the same approach towards preventing "terrorist states" from acquiring nuclear weapons, a thinly veiled reference to its rival enemy Iran.

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Iran warned of "regional consequences" on Saturday following a wave of punitive strikes in Syria by the United States, Britain and France.

"We are determined and will continue to act against the Iranian establishment of bases (in Syria)", Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, a member of the security cabinet, said on Israel's Army Radio.

Netanyahu said Israel would not allow Iran to establish itself in Syria, according to his office.

"Syria and Russia are fighting a battle not only against terrorism, but also for protecting global law ... based on respect for state sovereignty and the will of their people", Assad said at a meeting with members of Russia's ruling United Russia Party.

The air strikes at multiple targets began around 9:00 pm Eastern Time (0100 GMT) and saw US, French and British assets firing missiles at the Bashar Assad regime's chemical production facilities.

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