The US airstrikes on a Syrian regime airbase have hardened the dividing lines across the world in regards to the Assad regime.
MailOnline has set out world leaders’ positions on the conflict, which clearly shows the split between pro and anti-Assad countries.
It suggests which side of the battle line countries would position themselves on should the escalating crisis turn into an all out global conflict.
Britain, Israel, Canada, France, Germany and Turkey all spoke out strongly in their condemnation of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, following the strikes yesterday.
Meanwhile, Russia has blasted the US, with the country’s UN envoy accusing President Trump of “violating international law” by firing at an airbase near Homs.
Britain and Israel today specifically praised Trump’s airstrikes, which took place in the wake of a deadly poison gas attack on a rebel-held town in Syria.
This puts them at odds with countries including Russia, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Algeria and Venezuela, who have all shown their support for Assad in the past.
France and Germany today said that Assad bears “sole responsibility” for the US strike.
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the strike saying it sent a “strong and clear” message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.
He said: “Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision and hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”
The attacks in neighbouring Syria have worried Israel, which has warned against “game-changing” weapons reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon from Syria.
The Israeli leader and Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, hope America’s actions will send a “significant message” to the likes of Iran and North Korea, where leaders have repeatedly ignored warnings against the use of such weapons.
The Israel defence Forces said Friday that Israel, along with many other international allies, were informed by the US ahead of the military strike, which saw at least 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from two American naval destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean strike the Shayrat Airfield north of Damascus.
The strike was in retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack on Tuesday in the northern Syrian province of Idlib that left at least 86 people dead.
Britain backed the US missile strike, describing it as an “appropriate response”, as the government offered its full support to Trump’s targeted assault.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: “The UK Government fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is intended to deter further attacks.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said Syrian president Assad bore “sole responsibility” for the US strike on a regime airbase.
In a joint statement yesterday, they said: “After the chemical weapons massacre of April 4 on Khan Sheikhun in northwestern Syria, a military installation of the Syrian regime was destroyed by a US air strike last night. President Assad bears sole responsibility for this development.”
Hollande added that the US strike was what France had been calling for in the wake of the 2013 chemical attack.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the US attack was “understandable” given the Syrian people’s suffering.
She said: “The attack of the United States is understandable given the dimension of the war crimes, given the suffering of innocent people, and given the blockage in the UN Security Council.”
In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed the strike was a swift response to a shocking war crime.
“The Australian Government strongly supports the swift and just response of the United States,” Turnbull said yesterday. “This was a proportionate response by the United States. It is not designed to overthrow the Assad regime.
“But we are not at war with the Assad regime and United States have made it clear that they are not seeking to overthrow the Assad regime.”
Turkey called for Assad’s immediate ouster yesterday, voicing support for the US missile strike on one of his air bases.
Turkey, part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State, has long argued there can be no peace in Syria under Assad.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “It is necessary to oust this regime as soon as possible from the leadership of Syria.
“If he doesn’t want to go, if there is no transition government, and if he continues committing humanitarian crimes, the necessary steps to oust him should be taken.”
Meanwhile, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said the strike was “a positive response” to the “war crimes” of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
He said: “In order to prevent similar massacres from happening again, it is necessary to enforce a no-fly zone and create safe zones in Syria without further delay.”
Two top EU officials have offered cautious endorsement of the missile strikes on a Syrian airbase.
Donald Tusk, the chairman of EU leaders, said: “US strikes show needed resolve against barbaric chemical attacks. EU will work with the US to end brutality in Syria.”
The head of the bloc’s executive European Commission said he “understood” efforts to deter any more chemical attacks.
Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The US has informed the EU that these strikes were limited and seek to deter further chemical weapons atrocities.
The repeated use of such weapons must be answered. There is a clear distinction between air strikes on military targets and the use of chemical weapons against civilians.”
Italy also gave its support to the US air strike against Syrian, adding it was a suitable response and a deterrent against the use of chemical weapons.
Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, said: “Italy understands the reasons for the US military action.
“The strike was a commensurate response … and a signal of deterrence against the risks of further use of chemical weapons by Assad.”
Saudi Arabia praised the “courageous decision” saying the missile launch by Trump was the right response to “the crimes of this regime to its people in light of the failure of the international community to stop it.”
Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia is a longtime opponent of Assad and has supported the rebels fighting against him. It also views the long-running war as a proxy conflict between it and its Middle East archrival, the Shiite power Iran.
Of course, not everyone welcomed the strike which Syrian officials labelled an “act of aggression.”
Talal Barazi, the governor of Homs province, said the strikes had led to death and destruction at the airbase.
Iran has also “strongly condemned the US strike” warning that they would likely just lead to increased terror activity.
“Iran strongly condemns any such unilateral strikes,” the Iranian news agency ISNA quotes foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. “Such measures will strengthen terrorists in Syria … and will complicate the situation in Syria and the region.”
Qasemi added that the strike “is dangerous, destructive and violates the principles of international law.”
Iran is one of the biggest supporters of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. Its hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard is deeply involved in the war. America’s Sunni Arab allies in the Gulf view Syria as a proxy conflict between it and Shiite power Iran.
Russia also denounced the strike as an “act of aggression against a UN member” and warned that the move could end cooperation between the Russian and US military branches.
Viktor Ozerov, head of the defence committee in the Russian Federation Council, told state news agency RIA that the US strikes “may undermine the efforts in the fight against terrorism in Syria.”
“Russia will demand an urgent UN Security Council meeting after the US airstrike on Syrian aviation base. This is an act of aggression against a UN member.”
It is an act of “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law”, the Kremlin added.
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Kremlin-controlled upper house of parliament, has since warned that the strike has put an any prospective US-Russian anti-terror coalition “to rest without even being born.”
Kosachev added that “it’s a pity,” suggesting that Trump had been pressured to act by the Pentagon.
He added that while “Russian cruise missiles strike the terrorists, US missiles strike Syrian government forces who are spearheading the fight against the terrorists.”