A 'violation' or 'understandable'? World reacts as US launches strikes in Syria

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Wars and Military Conflicts

A 'violation' or 'understandable'? World reacts as US launches strikes in Syria

Ford Williams | U.S. Navy | Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the launch of 59 tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syria-government airfield on Thursday evening. In a statement, the Pentagon said the decision was "a proportional response" to an alleged chemical attack by the Bashar Assad regime.

CNBC takes a look at how the world reacted to the missile strikes:


  • Syria

    Syria's Information minister described the U.S. air strike on its airbase as "limited" and "expected", according to Reuters.

    Damascus said it does not expect a military escalation.

    People walk on the rubble of damaged buildings after airstrikes in the rebel held besieged Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria April 4, 2017.
    Bassam Khabieh | Reuters
  • Russia

    Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: "President Putin regards the U.S. attacks on Syria as an aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law, and under a trumped-up pretext at that," according to the Russian Tass new agency.

    Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign ministry decided to suspend air safety agreements with the U.S., claiming that strikes were prepared before the alleged chemical attack in Idlib. The ministry also asked for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting on an integrated development of the Arctic at a military base in Alexandra Land in remote Arctic islands of Franz Josef Land, Russia March 29, 2017.
    Sergei Karpukhin | Reuters
  • Iran

    "Iran strongly condemns any such unilateral strikes ... Such measures will strengthen terrorists in Syria ... And it will complicate the situation in Syria and the region," ISNA news agency quoted Foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi as saying on Friday.

    Xinhua | Ahmad Halabisaz via Getty Images
  • Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia said it "fully supports" the U.S. missile strikes against Syria and described Washington's response to the suspected chemical attack as a "courageous decision".

    "A responsible source at the Foreign ministry expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's full support for the American military operations on military targets in Syria, which came as a response to the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians," a statement released by state news agency SPA said on Friday.


    U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks with Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince and minister of defense, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
    Mark Wilson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • UK

    The British government said in a statement the U.S. missile strikes were an appropriate response to the "barbaric chemical weapons attack" launched by the Syrian government.

    Prime Minister Theresa May during a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin.
    Niall Carson | PA Images | Getty Images
  • China

    China's Foreign Ministry urged all relevant parties to stick to political settlements in an attempt to prevent further military escalation, according to reports.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying made the comments as President Xi Jinping attended a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida, which has been overshadowed by the developments in Syria.


    President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping.
    Getty Images
  • Turkey

    Turkey's Foreign ministry suggested it viewed the U.S. missile strikes "extremely positively" and added the country would be fully supportive in steps to ensure Assad takes responsibility for his government's actions.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Kurtulmus added the Syrian administration must be fully punished in the international arena, according to a Turkish broadcaster.


    Ensar Ozdemir | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
  • Israel

    "In both word and action, President (Donald) Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated," a statement from President Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.

    Win McNamee | Getty Images
  • Germany and France

    Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the Syrian developments with her French counterpart Francois Hollande. Germany and France released a joint statement calling for a peaceful solution to be found via the United Nations.

    Berlin and Paris blamed the alleged chemical attack entirely on the Assad regime. Also, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called the U.S. reaction "understandable".


    Sean Gallup | Getty Images
  • European Union

    The EU's Security Chief Federica Mogherini responded Thursday night to the alleged chemical attack and said in a statement, "The EU condemns in the strongest terms the air strike that hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on April 4, 2017."

    "This attack constitutes a flagrant violation of the cease-fire. It underlines the urgent need for a real and verified cease-fire. The EU calls on Russia, Turkey and Iran to live up to their commitments as guarantors in this regard," the statement said, requesting the United Nations Security Council to come together.


    Dursun Aydemir | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images