Lebanon's Hezbollah calls US strike on Syria 'idiotic step'

The US military action was a "service" to Israel and its "ambitions in the region," Hezbollah added, without elaborating.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
April 7, 2017 18:23
2 minute read.
Hezbollah

Hezbollah displays a pick-up truck mounted with a multiple rocket launcher in a parade in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatiyeh in 2014. (photo credit: MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP)

Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah said on Friday a US cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase was an "idiotic step" which would lead to "great and dangerous tensions" in the Middle East.

Hezbollah, which supports Syrian President Bashar Assad in the six-year-old conflict, said in a statement the strike would not demoralize the Syrian army or negatively affect its allies.

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The US military action was a "service" to Israel and its "ambitions in the region," Hezbollah added, without elaborating. 

US allies around the world expressed support on Friday for Washington's air strikes on Syria, calling them a proportionate response to Syria's suspected use of chemical weapons.

The strikes were denounced as illegal by Syria itself and its allies Russia and Iran.

But a wide range of US allies from Asia, Europe and the Middle East expressed support, if sometimes cautiously, in similar terms.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hours later expressed his support for the US air strike in Syria in comments he made early Friday morning.

"In words and actions President Trump sent a strong and clear response: The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable," Netanyahu stated.

"Israel fully and unequivocally supports the presidents decision and hopes the clear message will reverberate not only in Damascus but also in Tehran, Pyongyang and other places," he added.

A British government spokesman also said: "The UK government fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime and is intended to deter further attacks."

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: "Many innocent people became victims from the chemical attacks. The international community was shocked by the tragedy that left many young children among the victims."

"Japan supports the U.S. government's determination to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons," he said.

Turkey viewed the strikes positively and the international community should sustain its stance against the "barbarity" of the Syrian government, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.

Close to 100 civilians are believed to have been killed and hundreds more wounded in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province on Tuesday in what is believed to have been a sarin gas attack.

Trump's attack against the Assad regime came 77 days into his presidency.

Michel Wilner contributed to this story.


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