Turkish gov’t welcomes US missile strikes on Syria

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and the government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus delivers a speech during a press conference following the cabinet meeting in Ankara, Turkey on December 12, 2016.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said his government views US missile strikes on a Syrian air base positively and that the international community should maintain its stance against the “barbarity” of the Syrian administration.

The US missile attacks in Syria came in the aftermath of a chemical weapons attack in the Syrian province of Idlib on Tuesday that killed scores of people.

“As our president clearly put it, we not only want to hear words, we want to see action. In this regard, the US strike on the military base is significant and meaningful. However, the international community should clearly maintain its stance against such barbarism of the [Bashar] al-Assad regime until he is no longer able to harm his own people. Therefore, we welcome this action, but we think the al-Assad regime must be punished in the international arena,” Kurtulmuş told in an interview with private broadcaster Fox TV.

“I hope this US operation will contribute to securing peace,” he added.

Late on Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he welcomed US President Donald Trump’s remarks on a potential military action in Syria, voicing the country’s readiness to lend support.

“I thank Trump [for his remarks], but they should not remain unfulfilled. If an action will really be put forward, we are ready to do our part,” Erdoğan said.

Friday’s strikes were the first direct military action the US has taken against Syrian President al-Assad’s forces in the country’s long-running conflict, now in its sixth year.

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