Syria strikes: Arab countries respond

Syria strikes: Arab countries respond
Arab countries are split on Saturday's US-led airstrikes against the Syrian regime, in response to a fatal chemical attack last week.
2 min read
14 April, 2018
Dozens were killed in a suspected gas attack in Douma [Anadolu]
While Western leaders have welcomed a wave of punitive strikes by the US, UK and France against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime on Saturday, not all Arab leaders have reacted similarly.

Around a hundred cruise missiles were launched on three targets in Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack, believed to have been carried out by Bashar al-Assad's regime, which President Donald Trump branded the "crimes of a monster".  

Qatar (for)

Qatar was the first Gulf country to react. A statement published by the foreign ministry expressed support for strikes to stop attacks by the Syrian regime against civilians.

"The State of Qatar expressed its support for the US, British and French military operations against specific military targets used by the Syrian regime in launching attacks on innocent civilians," the ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.

"The continued use by the Syrian regime of chemical and indiscriminate weapons against the civilians, and its disregard for the humanitarian and legal consequences of such crimes, requires immediate action by the international community to protect the Syrian people and to strip the regime of internationally prohibited weapons."

Oman (for)

Oman also expressed its support for the military action against Syrian military installations.

"Oman supports the reasons that led the United States, the United Kingdom and France to undertake military actions against Syrian military installations," a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Saturday.

Egypt (against)

Egypt's foreign ministry expressed "deep concern" saying the strikes undermined the "safety of our brotherly Syrian people, and threatens the understandings reached regarding the de-escalation zones."

Algeria (against)

Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said his country regretted that the strikes came "at a time when the international community was waiting for an inquiry team to be sent to verify" the chemical arms claims.

"These strikes will create an atmosphere which will weigh negatively on moves to resolve the Syrian crisis through a political settlement."

Iraq (against)

Iraq has warned that Western air strikes were a "very dangerous" development that could fuel a "jihadist resurgence" in the region.

A statement by foreign ministry spokesman Ahmad Mahjoub said the strikes' "consequences threaten the security and stability of the region".

The raids carried out by the United States, France and Britain were "a very dangerous development... that will provide an opportunity for the expansion of terrorism after it was destroyed in Iraq and largely pushed back in Syria".

He added the ministry was "worried" and called for a "political solution that would satisfy the aspirations of the Syrian people".