The Guardian, 14 Apr 2018 - American-led air strikes against Syria have sent an unequivocal message to the regime of Bashar al-Assad that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated, the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has said.
Australia, a staunch ally of the US and a member of the Five Eyes security alliance, was not a part of the attacks on Damascus and Homs, but has issued a statement lending its support to the coalition’s actions. France and the UK joined the US in striking Syrian targets.
The Guardian understands the Australian government was briefed by the US on the strikes shortly before they began.
“The use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is illegal and utterly reprehensible,” Turnbull said in a statement, issued jointly with the foreign and defence ministers, on Saturday.
“The Assad regime must not be allowed to commit such crimes with impunity.”
Turnbull said the strikes were “a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response”.
“They send an unequivocal message to the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.”