Wednesday 23 June 2021

Dutch cabinet ‘understands’ American attack on Syrian airbase

Demonstration against the chemical weapons attack in Paris on April 6 Photo: Julien Mattia, via Zuma Press and Hollandse Hoogte

The Dutch government understands a US cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase early on Friday morning, reports NU.nl.

Deputy prime minister Lodewijk Asscher and foreign minister Bert Koenders told reporters that they hoped it would be seen as warning against future chemical warfare.

At 4.40am Syrian time, the US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian air base, in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack earlier this week in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib province. Images of the attack sparked protests including a demonstration in Paris on Thursday.

Asscher said he understood the American response, adding that he hoped it would deter the use of ‘horrible weapons’ like poisonous gas, reports NOS broadcaster in a live blog.

Koenders added: ‘We must return to the path of the UN. The most important thing is that this should contribute to a return to the negotiating table.’

Trump, speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, called Syrian president Bashar al-Assad a ‘dictator’ who had ‘launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians’. He added: ‘I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria,’ reports the BBC.

Russia, backing President Assad, has condemned the American strike which reportedly killed seven people.Russian President Vladimir Putin called it ‘aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law,’ according to later reports on CNN.

.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.