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Turkey welcomes strikes on Syria as 'appropriate'

AFP , Saturday 14 Apr 2018
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Turkey on Saturday welcomed Western strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime as an "appropriate response" to 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.

The United States, Britain and France carried out a wave of strikes against Assad's regime on Saturday a week after the suspected deadly gas attack on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the strikes had not been launched via Turkey's southern Incirlik air base.

"Turkey was informed ahead of the attack," he wrote on Twitter. "The Incirlik base was not used in the attack."

Ankara said chemical weapons attacks that indiscriminately target civilians "constitute crimes against humanity" and 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 foreign ministry said.

"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. In recent months however it has closely worked with Russia for a political solution in Syria even though Moscow remains a chief ally of the regime.

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