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MEP Yana Toom: Last three days' events 'catastrophe'

Estonian MEP Yana Toom in Aleppo, Syria.
Estonian MEP Yana Toom in Aleppo, Syria. Source: (Facebook)

Estonian member of the European Parliament, Yana Toom (Center/ALDE), said commenting on the American air strikes against a Syrian air force base that the USA's unilateral action was a "catastrophe" in the context of previous attempts to restore peace.

Two U.S. Navy vessels fired a total of 59 Tomahawk missiles on the Syrian air force base at Shayrat on Thursday evening. Shayrat was targeted because the USA believes that the base is where the gas attack against a Syrian village originated.

Yana Toom told ERR on Friday that she didn’t find the attack justifiable, as there was too little information about the origin of the gas attack that killed and injured dozens, among them many children.

In Toom’s assessment, the American strike was conducted without the politicians that condemned Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for the gas attack bothering to collect sufficient intelligence.

Toom also finds it “extremely illogical” to blame Assad for the gas attack.

“Assad would simply have to be an idiot if he ordered something like that one day before the Syria conference, understanding perfectly well that with it he would undermine his position even more. If this was in Assad’s interest, then something is completely wrong here,” Toom said.

Politics couldn’t follow the logic that Assad was a “brainless murderer”, Toom added. “He is a politician. In any case, he isn’t stupid. If he did this, it was political suicide. And that’s what doesn’t allow me to believe that he did it,” Toom said. Toom has recently visited Syria, and also met Bashar al-Assad.

Toom also thinks that the chemical attack could have been an accident, done by someone themselves, a provocation. “That this happened on Assad’s orders is, rationally thinking, impossible,” Toom insisted.

The American air strike changes the positions involving Russia as well, and in Toom’s view will also lead to more pronounced opposition on the UN Security Council. “I share the view that now the negotiations in Astana as well as in Geneva are at risk. The events of the last three days are a catastrophe if we think about the challenge to restore peace, where progress was made,” Toom said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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