Following a series of chemical weapon attacks by the Syrian government on their own citizens, US President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on the airfield believed to have been used to carry out the attack. Trump’s decision has naturally been faced with a level of criticism, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the first world leaders to come to his defense on actions taken in Syria, calling Friday morning’s airstrikes justifiable.
“The attack of the United States is understandable given the dimension of the war crimes, given the suffering of innocent people, and given the blockage in the U.N. Security Council,” Merkel stated during her speech at a Berlin event for refugee helpers. “We all know that chemical weapons are condemned internationally and that anyone who uses them commits a war crime.”
attacks being “limited and targeted” in scope
Merkel’s view on the situation was supported throughout the German government, and also backed by key NATO allies, France, Italy, Turkey and the UK. Iran and Russia however threw their support behind Syria and the Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented that “Putin considers the US strikes against Syrian an aggression against a sovereign country violating the norms of international law, and under trumped-up pretext at that”.
Germany and NATO leaders will surely keep a close watch on any further actions carried out by Trump, as for now the justification is based on the attacks being “limited and targeted” in scope.