Panels rotate on a trivision election campaign billboard poster featuring incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

The World Reacts To Strikes Against Syria

Russia and China have condemned joint missile strikes by the U.S., U.K. and France on Syria, calling it an act of aggression. Overnight, the U.S. led strikes against targets in Syria in retaliation for an apparent chemical weapons attack outside Damascus by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

U.S.-led strike on Syria was "an act of aggression" against a sovereign state, Russian news agency Interfax quoted Russia President Vladimir Putin. "Russia strongly condemns it," Putin, who is also a major ally of Syria added.

China said that all concerned countries should look at resolving issues through negotiations rather than air strikes. China objects to the use of military force, the country’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement. “China urges all sides to resolve Syria issue via negotiations,” she added.

Iran and Lebanese group Hezbollah also came out strongly against the move.

"America’s war against Syria, and against the region’s peoples and resistance movement, will not achieve its aims," said a Hezbollah statement published on its War Media Channel. “The American president, the French president and the British prime minister are criminals,” The Times of India quoted Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying.

India adopted a measured stance and called for restraint to avoid a further escalation of the situation.

The alleged use of chemical weapons, if true, is deplorable. We call for an impartial and objective investigation by the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) to establish the facts. In the meantime, we urge all parties to show restraint and to avoid any further escalation in the situation.
Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, India

In Support Of The Strikes

Defending the strikes, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission said that the international community has a responsibility to fight against chemical weapons.

Use of Chemical weapons is unacceptable in any circumstances and must be condemned in the strongest terms. The international community has the responsibility to identify and hold accountable those responsible of any attack with chemical weapons
Jean-Claude Juncker, President- European Commission

British Prime Minister Theresa May had backed the attacks stating that there was no other alternate option. In this case there was no alternate option, May said. "We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized," May added in her official statement.

German Chancellor Merkel said the allied strikes in Syria were 'necessary and appropriate' response to chemical attack, according to the Associated Press.

Turkey also came out in support of the attacks stating that this was perhaps the best response that could have been given to Syria. “We welcome this operation which has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the regime,” ABC News quoted the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The strikes were intended to act as a “strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” U.S. President Donald Trump had said in a televised address on Friday. “We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian government stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” Trump said.

What Next?

Russia is unlikely to initiate a military response to the strikes, said Ian Bremmer, President and Founder- Eurasia Group.

U.S. Senator John McCain in a statement on his twitter page said that, in the long run, a comprehensive strategy is needed for the region.

The Council For Foreign Relations, in a post, cautioned that military strikes have so far failed to act as a deterrent for Syria’s Assad.

Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analyst - Nassim Nicholas Taleb - also had something to say about the development.