Britain, China, Australia back U.S. military strike on Syria

New York [U.S.A.], Apr. 7 (ANI): The U.S. military strike on the Syrian Government airbase in response to Tuesday's chemical weapon attack has drawn differing reactions across the world with most inclining in favour of President Donald Trump's move.

Nations including the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Australia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have supported Trump in his endevaour to put an 'end to chemical attacks.'

Britain issued a show of support for the U.S.

"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," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

China, which has repeatedly blocked resolutions by the United Nations against Bashar-al Assad, has said it had always been opposed to the 'use of force.'

"China had always been opposed to the use of force," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said while speaking at a press conference in Beijing.

Hua also said that China opposed "the use of chemical weapons by any country, organisation or individual, in any circumstance and for any purpose," The Guardian reports.

There was now an urgent need to prevent a "further deterioration" of the situation in Syria, Hua added.

Trump sat down with Chinese President Xi Jinping to steak and pan-seared sole shortly after making the decision to pull the trigger on the strike in Syria. He met with his national security team before the formal dinner in Mar-a-Lago, sitting through the meal with President Xi while action was underway.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he "strongly supports" the US military strike on Syria's al-Shayrat airfield, calling it a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response to the Syrian regime's "shocking war crime".

"It sends a strong message to the Assad regime. The retribution has been proportionate and it has been swift. We support the United States in that swift action," Turnbull told the media.

"There is no question that this shocking conflict in Syria is crying out itself for a resolution and we certainly will continue to work with our allies and our partners to see a resolution to this shocking war," he added, as reported by the Guardian.

France was among the countries informed by the U.S. ahead of the strikes, French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said.

"I was told by Rex Tillerson during the night," Ayrault said, calling the missile strike "a warning [to] a criminal regime".

The office of the French President, François Hollande, issued a statement citing he had spoken with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

"The president and the German chancellor held talks on the telephone this morning on the situation in Syria. Following the chemical massacre on April 4 in Khan Sheikhun in the northwest of Syria, a military installation of the Syrian regime used chemical bombing was destroyed last night by US strikes. We have been informed," the statement said.

"Assad bears full responsibility for this development. Its continued use of chemical weapons and mass crimes can not go unpunished .

France and Germany therefore continue their efforts with partners in the United Nations framework to sanction the most appropriate criminal acts related to the use of chemical weapons banned by all treaties. We call on the international community to come together for a political transition in Syria, in accordance with resolution 2254 of the security council and the Geneva communique," it concluded.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said, "It is becoming clear that Syrian government forces were responsible for the outrageous attacks where chemical weapons were used. These events are horrific. It is critical that the international community emphatically demand an end to this violence, and that the Syrian government be held to account."

"In the absence of an adequate response from the United Nations security council, we can understand why the United States has taken targeted unilateral action to try and prevent further such attacks by the Syrian regime," McCully added.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the nerve gas attack earlier this week justified the retaliation.

"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 US government's determination to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons," he said.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also lent his backing to the strike through a tweet.

Earlier, the Pentagon confirmed it used a hotline for minimising the risk of aerial combat between U.S. and Russian jets in eastern Syria to alert Moscow of the strike against the Syrian Government.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, however, contradicted the information and said Russia was not alerted.

Hours after launching the strike, Trump called on all 'civilised nations' to stop the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria. He also asserted that Assad "choked out the lives of innocent men, women and children."

"Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical weapons convention, and ignored the urging of the UN security council," he said.

"Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behaviour have all failed and failed very dramatically. As a result the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United States and its allies. Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types," he added.

On Trump's orders, U.S. warships launched between 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syria Government airbase where the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks were based, U.S. officials said.

Trump had famously said the chemical attack on Syria's Idlib province affected his deeply and tranformed his thinking about Assad.

Dozens of people, including at least ten children, were killed and over 200 injured as a result of asphyxiation caused by exposure to an unknown gas on Tuesday.

The death toll is said to be at least 67, according to activist al-Diab, while the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported it to be 58.

The High Negotiations Committee claimed the death toll could be as high as 100 with up to 400 injured. (ANI)