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Saudi says strikes on Syria retaliation for regime 'crimes'

Middle East | 2018-04-14 21:45:00
Saudi says strikes on Syria retaliation for regime 'crimes'
Saudi Arabia Saturday expressed its full support for U.S.-led strikes on Syrian government military installations, saying they were a response to "regime crimes" against civilians.

"Saudi Arabia fully supports the strikes launched by the United States, France and Britain against Syria because they represent a response to the regime's crimes," a foreign ministry statement said.

The statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said the strikes were prompted by the "Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians, including women and children."

The United States, France and Britain said they launched the strikes Saturday in response to an alleged chemical attack on the former rebel town of Douma near Damascus a week ago.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have been key backers of Syrian opposition groups fighting President Bashar Assad.

Riyadh has backed the Islamist Jaish al-Islam rebel group, which held the Syrian town of Douma where the suspected toxic gas attack on April 7 took place.

Syria's foreign ministry on Saturday lashed out at Riyadh, saying it was not surprised to see it back the U.S., France and Britain's attacks on military installations.

"It is not strange that the Wahhabist regime supports the tripartite aggression on Syria, especially... after the surrender of its terrorist tool, Jaish al-Islam," a ministry source said, according to state television.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said Paris has "proof" the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, a claim denied by the Damascus government.
AFP
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