Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

U.S. strikes on Syria 'justified', says Israeli official

U.S. strikes on Syria 'justified', says Israeli official

Between 12 and 24 hours before the strikes on Friday, the United States, the United Kingdom and France on Friday, Tel Aviv received the message, an Israeli source told Reuters on Saturday.

US-led strikes in Syria on Saturday (April 14) are an "important signal" to Iran, Syria and and Lebanese militant group Hizbollah, a senior Israeli Cabinet minister said.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, says the USA -led airstrikes against Syria has been "a very serious blow".

"Last night's operations were successful. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime". He says there also is no indication that Russian air defense systems were employed early Saturday in Syria.

General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the strikes hit targets related to Syria's chemical weapons program - a scientific research center near Damascus, a weapons storage facility west of Homs, and a third location nearby containing a command post and an equipment storage facility.

McKenzie says 105 weapons were launched against three targets in Syria.

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Tensions have been running high between Israel and its arch-foe Iran, a key backer of the Syrian regime which provides military advisers and "volunteer" ground forces to Damascus.

"This aggression is created to compensate for the defeat of the terrorists" in Eastern Ghouta, an area recently recaptured by Syrian government forces, Iran's foreign ministry said.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has spoken with his Syrian counterpart, too.

Israel on Saturday lauded the joint airstrikes on Syria by the U.S., Britain and France as an "appropriate" response to the alleged gas attack in Syria.

He spoke at a meeting with Iranian officials and ambassadors from some Islamic countries.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation representatives are planning a special session to hear from U.S., British and French officials about their military strike against Syria.

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