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Rinkevics: Missile strike on Syrian airbase was an adequate response

  • 2017-04-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

RIGA  - In an interview on Latvian Television, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) said that the missile strike on a Syrian airbase overnight was an adequate response.

The minister explained that diplomatic steps and sanctions against Syria have not led to positive results. The missile strike was a response to the chemical attack launched by the Syrian regime against its people.

Rinkevics admitted that the situation is becoming more complicated and dangerous and that despite the military steps, diplomacy must continue to find possible solutions to the conflict.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry expresses hope that the UN Security Council will be able to agree upon a resolution which condemns the chemical attack by the Syrian regime, and allow for a proper investigation, BNS was informed by the ministry.

The AFP news agency reports that US forces fired a barrage of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase Friday in response to what President Donald Trump called a "barbaric" chemical attack he blamed on the Damascus regime.

The massive strike -- the first direct US action against President Bashar al-Assad's government and Trump's biggest military decision since taking office -- marked a dramatic escalation in American involvement in Syria's six-year civil war.

It followed days in which images of dead children and victims suffering convulsions from the suspected sarin gas attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun shocked the world.

Officials said the US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat Airfield at 3:40 am Syrian time on Friday.

The strike targeted radars, aircraft, air defense systems and other logistical components at the military base south of Homs in central Syria, from where Washington believes Tuesday's deadly strike was launched.

"The airbase was almost completely destroyed -- the runway, the fuel tanks, and the air defenses were all blown to pieces," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based monitoring group said at least four servicemen were killed, including an air commodore.

The base was the second most important for Syria's air force, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, after the Latakia air base in Assad's coastal heartland where Russia also maintains extensive facilities.