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US strikes on Syria: Who all are standing by Assad regime?

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    The United States has finally carried out what it had been talking about. The US, UK and France have launched a coordinated strike by firing over a 100 missiles on, what Trump described as, targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

    File photo of a missile strike

    The strikes mark the second time Trump ordered attacks against Syria to punish Assad's government.

    Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pledged to retaliate for what it described as a "fabricated" chemical gas attack.

    Russia had previously threatened to shoot down U.S. missiles and aircraft that threaten the lives of Russian personnel in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said Russia will call an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, where it is a permanent member, over Western strikes on Syria.

    It still remains to be seen how Moscow would react. There are fears that the situation may escalate, sparking a military clash between Russia and the US. Experts are divided over the matter, however,  the danger of a clash still exists, as Russia's foreign ministry has warned repeatedly that strikes can lead to "the most grave consequences." A worst-case-scenario could see the war spill beyond Syria's borders and embroil many of the world's key military powers. Britain and France have indicated support for US air strikes. And with Russian and Iranian forces against them, it's not so far fetched to think an escalation in the war could be a precursor to world war three.

    International reactions to US strikes:

    Germany said it supports the action taken to deter the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons on its own citizens.

    "The military operation was necessary and appropriate to preserve the effectiveness of the international ban on the use of chemical weapons and to warn the Syrian regime of further violations.100 years after the end of the First World War, we are all called upon to counteract the erosion of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Germany will resolutely support all diplomatic action in this direction," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly said that Tehran would continue to stand by Syria. Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Saturday that the country's Ministry of Health has offered to send medical aid to Syria should it be required.

    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused the US and its allies of committing a "major crime" with its trilateral strikes on Syrian targets overnight, in a tweet on Saturday morning.

    The European Union is supportive of all efforts aimed at preventing the use of chemical weapons, its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said in a statement on Saturday.

    The EU has called on "all countries, notably Russia and Iran" to use their influence in preventing any further use of chemical weapons, according to the statement. 

    Chinese Foreign Ministry said it believed political settlement is the only realistic way to resolve the Syrian issue and called for a fair probe into Syria's suspected chemical weapon attacks. It added that any military action that bypassed the UN Security Council violated the international law.

    Isreal and Turkey have supported the airstrikes. Turkey has dubbed the strikes as "appropriate response".

    OneIndia News with inputs

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