Saudi Arabia Praises Trump Airstrike Punishment of Syria Chemical Attack

Saudi Arabia said on Friday it “fully supports” U.S. strikes on military targets in Syria, saying it was a “courageous decision” by President Donald Trump in response to the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

The United States had fired nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles at a military airfield in Syria, the first direct military action Washington has taken against Syrian government forces in the six-year-old conflict.

“A responsible source at the foreign ministry expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s full support for the American military operations on military targets in Syria, which came as a response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians…,” a statement carried by state news agency SPA said, as reported in Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has long argued that any peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Syria must include the departure of Bashar Al-Assad, the strongman dictator who has overseen a 5-year brutal civil war and authored one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history.

The statement in the SPA praised what it described as “the courageous decision” by Trump and said it holds the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible for the military strikes.

Israel also joined in support of the airstrikes. “In both word and action, President Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a statement.