World divided over Syria

(VOVworld) – The world was shocked by the US’s firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase on Friday because the new US administration had said previously that it would not interfere in Syria and would be ready to work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to fight the Islamic State.  The world powers are at odds in a finding a resolution to the Syrian crisis, driving the fight against IS onto a dangerous path. 

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People in Damascus protest the US missile strikes (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Because of conflicting viewpoints on the US's sudden missile attack on Syria, the resolution of Syria’s prolonged war seems to be at an impasse.

For and against

Russia and Iran strongly denounced the attack, calling it an aggression against a sovereign country and a violation of international law. Many other countries supported the US's unilateral military act.

Saudi Arabia, a US ally, said it "fully supports" the strikes, adding that it was a "courageous decision". Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry said the American military operations against military targets in Syria were a response to the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons against civilians. Britain said the US action was an appropriate response to the "barbaric chemical weapons attack" launched by the Syrian government. Turkey said it views the US missile strikes positively and confirmed its full support for ensuring that Basar Al-Assad will be held accountable. A Germany-France joint statement called for a peaceful solution through the UN, but adding that the Assad regime "bears full responsibility" for the use of chemical weapons and that the US response was "proportionate". China urged all parties to comply with political agreements to prevent military escalation.

In the US, opinion is also divided over the Syrian strikes.  Several congresspersons praised President Trump for his prompt reaction. Others were doubtful about the strikes’ legality.

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President Donald Trump defended the US attack on a Syrian airbase (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Where will the Syrian crisis go?

The missile strikes were the US’s first military actions against Syria since Donald Trump took office. Trump used the pretext of the chemical attack to strike Syria, but some observers say Trump calculated the strike in order to gain the upper hand in the Middle East.

Not long ago, there were hopes for a change in the world powers’ approach to the Syrian problem, when the EU announced its plan to establish a peace brokered by the international community and to reconstruct Syria. But the ongoing difference in viewpoints between world powers is hindering efforts to break the Syrian deadlock.