G7 back allied air strikes in Syria

 
Catherine Neilan
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Anti-War Protests Take Place Across Country After President Trump Ordered Airstrikes In Syria
Anti-war protests have taken place in London and the US (Source: Getty)

The leaders of the G7 countries have said they back the air strikes carried out by the US, UK and France on Friday, saying this action was only taken "after exhausting every possible diplomatic option".

Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the EU have sided with their three fellow members, condemning "in the strongest possible terms" the use of chemical weapons in Douma over a week ago. Around 75 people are thought to have been killed in the attack, many of them children.

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"We fully support all efforts made by the United States, the United Kingdom and France to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to use chemical weapons and to deter any future use, demonstrated by their action taken on April 13," the G7 nations said in a statement this morning. "This response was limited, proportionate and necessary – and taken only after exhausting every possible diplomatic option to uphold the international norm against the use of chemical weapons."

They said the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons was a breach of global conventions and "constitutes a threat to international peace and security".

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They added: "The repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in the past has been confirmed by independent international investigators. We condemn this deliberate strategy of terrorising local populations and forcing them into submission.

"Syria’s possession of chemical weapons and their means of delivery are illegal under UN Security Council Resolution 2118 and the Chemical Weapons Convention. We stand together against impunity for those who develop or use these weapons, anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances."

The world-leading nations stressed they were "committed to a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria".

Yesterday, MPs debated the air strikes for six hours in the House of Commons, with Theresa May winning support from some opposition politicians for taking action – although the Prime Minister was criticised for moving without the backing of Parliament first.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised May for the act itself, questioning whether it was legal and suggesting she was in the pocket of US President Donald Trump.

Anti-war protests have taken place in the US, as well as outside Parliament in central London yesterday.

MPs will return for a second debate on the matter today.

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