While many Western countries said they fully support the strike, other, mainly Russia and Iran, said the move will increase the level of terrorism in Syria.

Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The US missile strike in Syria on Thursday night drew mixed responses from world leaders. While many Western countries supported the attack, others, mainly Russia and Iran, sharply condemned it.

A UK government statement said the strike on an airbase in Homs was “an appropriate response to barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime.” UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon added that the UK had been given advance notice of the strike.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May

UK Prime Minister Theresa May Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Turkey also viewed the US strike positively and said Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad “needs to be punished.” Numan Kurtulmus, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, said, “The process of overthrowing Assad must be accelerated. Even if it is done by force.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement that Assad “bears full responsibility for this development” because of “his repeated use of chemical weapons and mass crimes.”

Germany's chacellor Angela Merkel

Germany’s chacellor Angela Merkel Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government “strongly supports the swift and just response of the United States.”

The Israeli government has also expressed its support of the strike, saying Trump had sent out “a clear message that the use and distribution of chemical weapons are intolerable.”

A spokesman for Russia’s president Vladimir Putin said the strike was “significantly harmful” to relations between the US and Russia.

“(It) creates a serious obstacle for building of an international coalition to fight (terrorism) and to effectively resist this universal evil,” the spokesman said.

Iran, Assad’s strongest ally, also condemned the strike and called it “destructive and dangerous.”