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The United States, Britain and France carried out a wave of strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime on Saturday in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks that President Donald Trump branded the "crimes of a monster." (AFP photo)

JERUSALEM/ANKARA/OTTAWA: Punitive US-led strikes on Syria are justified because of the "murderous actions" of the Damascus government, an Israeli official said Saturday.

"Last year (US) President Donald Trump said that the use of chemical weapons would violate a red line. This night, under America's guidance, the United States, France and Britain acted accordingly (because) Syria continues to carry out its murderous actions," the official, who declined to be identified, said.

"Syria also serves as a base to carry out such action, namely on behalf of Iran, endangering its territory, its forces and its leadership," the official added.

Public radio said that Israel had been informed ahead of time of the strikes that were carried out by the United States, France and Britain.


Syrians wave the national flag and portraits of President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah leader in Damascus to condemn the strikes carried out by the United States, Britain and France against the Syrian regime. (AFP photo)

Tensions have been running high between Israel and its arch-foe Iran, a key backer of the Syrian regime which provides military advisors and "volunteer" ground forces to Damascus.

On Monday seven Iranian personnel were among 14 people killed in an early-morning strike on the T-4 airbase in Syria, with regime allies Iran and Russia blaming Israel for the attack. Israel did not deny or confirm any responsibility.


Syrians wave the national flag and portraits of President Bashar al-Assad as they gather at the Umayyad Square in Damascus. (AFP photo)

Meanwhile, Turkey on Saturday welcomed Western strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime as an "appropriate response" in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack that left dozens dead.

"We welcome this operation which has eased humanity's conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the regime," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.


A British Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado taxing before take off at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. (EPA photo)

Ankara said the attacks, with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, that indiscriminately target civilians, "constitute crimes against humanity" and they should not go unpunished.

"The Syrian regime, which has been tyrannising its own people for more than seven years, be it with conventional or chemical weapons, has a proven track record of crimes against humanity and war crimes," the ministry said.


Syrians wave the national flag and portraits of President Bashar al-Assad as they gather at the Umayyad Square in Damascus. (AFP photo)

"The conscience of the international community is in no doubt about that."

Turkey is a vocal critic of Assad's regime in Damascus and backed rebels fighting for his ouster bun recent months it has closely worked with Russia for a political solution in Syria even though Moscow remains a chief ally of the regime.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin has also expressed his support for punitive strikes carried out by the US, Britain and France against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.


A combo of two photos released on April 14, 2018 on the Twitter page of Hezbollah's "Central War Media" account shows night footage of flares above Damascus seen through a night-vision device as Western strikes reportedly hit Syrian military bases and chemical research centres in and around Syria's capital. (AFP photo)

"Canada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regime's ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people," Trudeau said in a statement Friday.


A picture released by the French Defence audiovisual communication and production unit (ECPAD) shows the launching of a cruise missile from a French military vessel in the Mediterranean sea towards targets in Syria overnight. (AFP photo)

General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the strikes hit targets related to Syria's chemical weapons program -- a scientific research center near Damascus, a weapons storage facility west of Homs, and a third location nearby containing a command post and an equipment storage facility. -- AFP

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