China calls 'restraint', supports UN probe in Syria

Indo Asian News Service

Beijing, April 7 (IANS) China on Friday urged for "restraint" and to prevent deterioration of the situation after the US fired cruise missiles on a Syrian air base.

The US air strike led to deaths of nine civilians and six soldiers besides causing huge damage, at the Shairat airbase in Homs province.

The air strikes took place as President Donald Trump was meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Florida.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China hoped that "relevant parties stay calm, exercise restraint and avoid doing anything that might raise tensions".

Beijing supported the UN in launching an independent and comprehensive probe on the issues in order to come to a conclusion, Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

President Donald Trump said the strikes were a response to Tuesday's chemical weapons attack in Idlib province that killed dozens of civilians.

Washington accused Damascus of the toxic gas attack but the Bashar al Assad government has termed it a "lie".

Hua said China opposed the use of chemical weapons by any country, organisation or person for whatever purposes, and Beijing's position will remain consistent.

Beijing, an ally of Russia, called "on all relevant parties to resolutely stick to promoting a political settlement and not abandon efforts to find a political settlement".

China has routinely sided with Russia in blocking action by the UN Security Council on Syria, and Beijing's special