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Mikser: US attack on Syria 'appropriate and necessary'

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Syria's Al Shayrat air base, the target of the strike, was completely destroyed.
Syria's Al Shayrat air base, the target of the strike, was completely destroyed. Source: (Digitalglobe/Scanpix)

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser expressed support for a retaliatory attack by the U.S. on the Syrian air base from which a chemical attack had been launched on Tuesday.

"U.S. retaliation against Assad following chemical attack [was] appropriate and necessary," Mikser wrote on social media on Friday morning. "US and democratic world now need [a] broader strategy to follow up."

The U.K., Australia and Latvia have similarly expressed support for the retaliatory strike.

Mikser told ERR on Friday morning that this was the first such strike in which the U.S. focused on a stronghold of the Assad regime, not the Islamic State group.

According to the foreign minister, as Russia and Assad have worked in close symbiosis with one another, there is reason to believe that the strike will give rise to a very serious change in US-Russian relations in Syria, the Middle East and on a wider political front.

"It can be assumed that a fairly painful reaction will follow, not just from the Assad regime but also from Russia as well," he said. "This is also a break from the U.S.' own policy. While just hours before the chemical attack against civilians, representatives of the U.S. government confirmed that the U.S.' aim was not to replace the Assad regime, a dramatic turn has now taken place."

Mikser noted that the Trump administration has now demonstrated that it can react very forcefully and unexpectedly to events such as Tuesday's chemical attack.

"These are concrete tactical steps which must be based on a greater strategy which, in addition to the military aspect, has a vision for a political solution," said the Estonian minister.

Official statement on the situation in Syria

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the following official statement by Mikser on the ongoing situation in Syria:

The crisis in Syria has gone on for too long and efforts to solve the situation have not been successful. The humanitarian disaster caused by the civil war has grown to enormous proportions.

The United States' reaction to the use of weapons of mass destruction against Syrian civilians was necessary. We deem the resoluteness of our ally, the United States, important. The United States and the European Union should play a much more active role in the peace process.

Russia has blocked all opportunities to use mechanisms of the United Nations to solve this crisis and ease the suffering of the civilian population. The chemical attack in Idlib demonstrated that Russia's initiative to eliminate all chemical weapons from Syria has failed. It is clear that the stronger involvement of the international community is needed. Political transition must be reached in order to end this civil war.

Estonia has supported the alleviation of the humanitarian disaster in Syria with €6.8 million and will continue with an additional €1.3 million over the next two years.

Targeted Syrian air base destroyed

On Thursday night, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a targeted military strike on Syria's Al Shayrat air base from which an attack using chemical weapons had been launched on Tuesday.

A total of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78), two U.S. Navy destroyers patrolling the Mediterranean Sea.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: ERR

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