By: Laura Steiner
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement today on U.S. strikes in Syria:
“Canada fully supports the United States’ limited and focused action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against innocent civilians, including many children. President Assad’s use of chemical weapons and the crimes the Syrian regime has committed against its own people cannot be ignored. These gruesome attacks cannot be permitted to continue with impunity.
The strikes were made from the Mediterranean sea. They hit 59 targets including Shayrat airbase, where reportedly Syrian Government forces launched a sarin gas attack Tuesday on Idlib province. “The suffering of Syrians is a war crime and is unacceptable. Canada condemns all uses of chemical weapons. Canada will continue to support diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria.”
US President Trump ordered the strikes Thursday night. Canada did not play a military role in the airstrikes.
Opposition Parties React to Trump’s Military Action
Conservative Interim Leader Rona Ambrose has released a statement via her Facebook Page. “The global community cannot sit idly by while deadly nerve toxins are unleashed on innocent civilians.” Ambrose took it a step further asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to hold Al-Assad responsible for the gas attack. “Holding Bashar al-Assad to account for his crimes against humanity is absolutely required and we must support our allies to achieve this end.”
The New Democratic Party (NDP) reacted with a statement through their website in which they questioned the airstrikes’ goals. “It is not clear what the impact of these missile strikes will be on the conflict. They are not part of a United Nations-sanctioned effort, and it is not clear if they form part of a larger plan to end this crisis.” The United Nations (U.N.) Security Council met earlier today in open session.
Media reports quote U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley as placing blame for the gas attack on Bashar Al-Assad. “Assad did this because he thought he could get away with it. He thought he could get away with it because he knew Russia had his back. That changed last night.” Tuesday’s sarin gas attack killed 80 people. One man lost 27 family members including his wife, and twins.