Trudeau supports Trump, allies in attack on Syria
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he âsupports the decisionâ from the U.S., France and Britain to launch military strikes in Syria.
âCanada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regimeâs ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people,â Trudeau said in a statement Friday night.
President Donald Trump announced the strikes Friday evening as a punishment for President Bashar al-Assadâs alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians â" and to deter Assad from doing it again.
More than 40 people were killed in the chemical attack in eastern Ghouta, Syria last week. Trudeau said Friday that he condemns the attack âin the strongest possible terms.â
While Syria has denied responsibility for the attack, the prime minister said Canada is working with international partners to i nvestigate the incident.
âThose responsible must be brought to justice,â Trudeau said.â
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, however, was firm in assigning responsibility for the incident. She told reporters in Lima, Peru Friday that Assad was to blame.
âWhen it comes to this use of chemical weapons, it is clear to Canada that chemical weapons were used and that they were used by the Assad regime,â Freeland said.
Reporters on the ground in Damascus reported loud explosions and heavy smoke filling the sky over Syriaâs capital after missiles slammed into what the U.S. claimed were suspected chemical-weapon sites.
Syrian television said the attacks targeted a scientific research centre in Barzeh, near Damascus, and an army depot near Homs.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis described Friday nightâs strikes as âa one-time shot,â but did not rule out further attacks.
British Prime Minister Theresa May described th e attack as neither âabout intervening in a civil warâ nor âabout regime change,â but a limited and targeted strike that âdoes not further escalate tensions in the regionâ and does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.
âWe would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none,â May said.
The Russian Embassy also took to Twitter to weigh in on the strikes, calling them âtreacherous and insane.â
Russia, sensing escalating tensions, called an emergency Security Council meeting earlier Friday to discuss Syria. At the meeting diplomats from Russia and the U.S. reportedly argued and traded blame.
The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trumpâs second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assadâs use of sarin gas against civilians.
Trump chastised Syriaâs two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting âmurderous dictators,â and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 international agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons.
He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus.
Fridayâs strikes appear to signal Trumpâs willingness to draw the United States more deeply into the Syrian conflict.
The participation of British and French forces enables Trump to assert a wider international commitment against the use of chemical weapons, but the multi-pronged attack carries the risk of Russian retaliation.
Trudeau, who is currently in Peru for the Summit of the Americas, is slated to visit with leaders in England and France next week.
With files from the Canadian Press and the Associated Press.Source: Google News