Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Trump Deters ‘Assad’s Chemicals’… Embarrasses Regime’s Sponsors | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows an image captured on April 7 of the northwest side of the Shayrat air base in Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes on Friday, April 7, 2017 from the USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78). (DigitalGlobe via AP)

Washington, New York, Moscow- The decision of US President Donald Trump to launch cruise missiles at the Shayrat airfield in Syria on Friday morning to stop the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons against its people, has taken the country’ war to a new phase, signaling a direct conflict with this same regime and its sponsors, mainly Russia, which described the US attack as “a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.”

Western diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington’s decision to attack Syria “changed the US image in the region, and can be the prelude to the return of the international balance of power to the Middle East.”

The sources added that Trump “reinforced the image of the Assad regime as one that uses chemical weapons against its people, and also uncovered the distorted policy that Russia is leading in the Security Council.”

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Friday that Washington was ready to take further steps if needed.

During a Security Council meeting held to discuss the US attack on Syria, Haley said: “The United States took a very measured step last night. We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary.”

The US ambassador added: “We had hoped the Security Council will move forward, but Russia made it known that it would use its veto once again, covering up for the Assad regime.”

Moscow strongly criticized the US attack of the Shayrat air base that Washington said was used to launch the chemical assault on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province last Tuesday. Russia warned from the “extremely serious” consequences over regional and international stability.

The warships USS Porter and USS Ross in the Mediterranean Sea launched 59 Tomahawk missiles on the Shayrat base.

An official source at the Saudi Foreign Ministry stressed the Kingdom’s strong support for the military operations carried out against military targets in Syria, which came in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians that caused the deaths of scores of people, including women and children, and is part of the ongoing horrible crimes being committed by this regime over many years against the Syrian people.

The official source placed the responsibility for these military operations squarely on the Syrian regime.

The source also commended the courageous decision taken by Trump to respond to the Syrian regime’s crimes against its people in light of the failure of the international community to stop it from brutalizing them.