Following President Trump’s decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against Syria, the attack has been greeted with both approval and censure across the world. The loudest praise comes from Trump’s allies in Congress and the harshest condemnation emerged from Moscow and Damascus.
Mr. Trump ordered the U.S. military to attack a Syrian airfield suspected of basing military assets used to carry out an alleged chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on Thursday.
Although divided, members of Congress responded swiftly, often backing the president. However, some asked the White House for a plan to proceed militarily in Syria; others went further and demanded the president collaborate with Congress prior to taking any additional military action.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) both approved of Trump’s actions.
Unlike McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) questioned the president’s constitutional authority and expressed doubt the attack would do anything to affect the larger outcome of the seven-year civil war.
The President needs Congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 7, 2017
Across the globe, reactions varied, with Russia issuing a warning which informed the White House the attack brought the two nations perilously close to conflict.
In a statement released by the Kremlin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev blasted Trump and stated relations between the two nations have come to ruin.
In a Facebook post, Medvedev wrote:
“That’s it. The last remaining election fog has lifted. Instead of an overworked statement about a joint fight against the biggest enemy, Isis (the Islamic State), the Trump administration proved that it will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government, in a tough contradiction with international law and without UN approval, in violation of its own procedures stipulating that the Congress must first be notified of any military operation unrelated to aggression against the US. On the verge of a military clash with Russia.”
UN General Secretary António Guterres released a statement urging caution and expressing fear for civilians.
“Mindful of the risk of escalation, I appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people,” it read.
In contrast, Syrian opposition groups welcomed the attack, encouraging the White House to do more to assist anti-Assad rebel groups and expressing fear over retaliation from Damascus.
A plethora of countries with Western ties also expressed support for U.S. intervention, including the UK, Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and UAE.
In addition to Russia and Syria, the government of Iran also condemned Trump’s military action, contending that “it is dangerous, destructive and [a] violation of international laws to use (the use of chemical weapons) as an excuse to take unilateral actions.”
[Reuters] [RT America] [The Independent] [CBC News] [Photo courtesy Sputnik]