Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Sunday termed the U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Assad regime’s alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria as a “positive” but “late response”.
Speaking at the Sixth Ordinary Congress of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Istanbul’s Tuzla district, Yıldırım said: “It is a late response to the regime and vile murderers, who caused the atrocity in the region.”
However, he said it was still a “positive step,” taken by three allied countries.
“The Syrian regime has been doing the same thing for seven years. The West suddenly remembered the suffering of people when chemical weapon was used,” Yıldırım said.
Turkey will continue to protect civilians from all murderers bent on destroying and slaughtering people through conventional and chemical weapons, the premier added.
US official says ‘information’ points to sarin, chlorine use in Syria attack
U.S. and allied strikes against Syria overnight took out targets with materiel that could have been used to produce chemical weapons such as sarin, a senior administration official told reporters on Saturday.The official said there was “information” that showed that both sarin and chlorine were used in the most recent chemical weapons attack in Syria, prompting the U.S. strikes.”We assess that both sarin and chlorine were used in the attack,” the official said.The official added that “while the available information is much greater on the chlorine use, we do have significant information that also points to sarin use” in the attack.Western powers said on Saturday their missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the restrained assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the 7-year-old civil war.
Turkey calls for ‘legitimate political order’ in Syria
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has said the struggle between the US and Russia in Syria “must go beyond proxy wars and geopolitical muscling”.Writing for the Istanbul-based Daily Sabah, Kalin said: “It must focus on establishing a legitimate, democratic and inclusive political order without the Assad regime or terrorist networks like Daesh, al-Qaeda, PYD or YPG.”He said “there is strong evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons again on April 7”.He added the World Health Organization reported that about 500 people in Douma had been treated for “signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals”.He reiterated the use of chemical weapons is just one part of the Syrian tragedy.”The chemical attack on April 7 must be taken seriously and the regime must be held accountable for its war crimes.”As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rightly said, far more people have died as a result of the use of conventional weapons and the international community has failed to respond to this drama, leaving the people of Syria to the barbarism of the Assad regime on the one hand, and Daesh and other terrorist groups on the other.”This is not the first time the regime has used chemical weapons. When it did so back in 2013, the U.S. President Barack Obama had set a red line but did nothing to prevent repetition of ‘such barbaric acts’. This Obama’s failure led Russia and Iran to enter into Syria and offered a lifeline to the Assad regime.”Kalin added: “Over the past four years, the Syrian saga has been used by world powers and regional players for their own geopolitical positioning. This is unlikely to change now.”The main problem is that the focus is not ending the war but using it in various ways to exert influence in Syria, Iraq and beyond.”It is the Assad regime and its backers that benefit the most from this geopolitical brinkmanship, and the Syrian people continue to suffer.”
The U.S., U.K., and France launched airstrikes on the Assad regime’s alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria earlier on Saturday.
The strikes came after the Assad regime was accused of carrying out a chemical attack in Syria’s Douma, which killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others.