China said Saturday it was “opposed to the use of force” following US-led air strikes against Syria and called for a “return to the framework of international law”.
“We consistently oppose the use of force in international relations, and advocate respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on its website.
Large part’ of Syria chemical arsenal destroyed: France
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Saturday that missile strikes carried out overnight in Syria by Britain, France and the US had destroyed a “large part” of the Damascus government’s stocks of chemical weapons.
“A large part of its chemical arsenal has been destroyed,” Le Drian told BFM television. “A lot has been destroyed in last night’s strikes.”
He also said France had “solid intelligence” that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind the gas attack in the rebel-held city of Douma last weekend, which monitors say killed at least 40 people.
“On the question of chemical weapons, there is a red line that must not be crossed, and if it should be crossed again, there will be another intervention,” Le Drian said.
“But I think the lesson has been learned.”
Germany backs ‘necessary and appropriate’ strikes in Syria: Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday the air strikes against the Syrian regime were “necessary and appropriate” after the suspected chemical weapons attacks that killed dozens in Douma.
“We support the fact that our US, British and French allies … assumed their responsibilities. The military intervention was necessary and appropriate,” Merkel said in a statement.
“Everything leads us to believe that (Assad) bears responsibility” for the Douma attack, Merkel said.
The chancellor on Thursday had ruled out Germany joining any military action against Syria.
On Saturday she said it appeared likely that the Syrian regime “had used chemical weapons against its own people on several occasions in the past”.
Merkel added: “A century after the end of World War I… we must fight against the erosion of the (international) convention on chemical weapons”.
“Germany will undertake, in a determined way, diplomatic efforts to support this,” Merkel said.
EU stands by allies over Syria strikes
European Council President Donald Tusk said Saturday the European Union stood by the United States, France and Britain over their air strikes in Syria after alleged chemical attacks by the Damascus regime.
“Strikes by US, France and UK make it clear that Syrian regime together with Russia and Iran cannot continue this human tragedy, at least not without cost. The EU will stand with our allies on the side of justice,” Tusk said in a Twitter message.
EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said this was not the first time that Damascus had used chemical weapons against civilians “but it must be the last.
“The international community has the responsibility to identify and hold accountable those responsible of any attack with chemical weapons,” Juncker said in a statement.
“As it enters its 8th year of conflict, Syria desperately needs a lasting ceasefire respected by all parties that paves the way for achieving a negotiated political solution through the United Nations-led Geneva process, to bring peace to the country once and for all.”