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SA condemns US, UK, French air strikes in Syria

The International Relations Department says that the alleged action by Syria cannot be justification for military airstrikes by the US, Britain and France.

A man holds a placard during an anti-war protest after President Donald Trump launched airstrikes in Syria, 15 April 2018 in New York City. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - South Africa has objected to the punitive missile strikes against Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people.

The International Relations Department says that the alleged action by Syria cannot be justification for military airstrikes by the US, Britain and France.

In a statement, the department says that South Africa condemns the use of military weapons by any party in Syrian territory. It’s consistently called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The department says that the issue should be resolved by the United Nations Security Council and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

It’s urged the UN powerhouse to double all efforts towards a peaceful and non-military resolution in Syria.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.

In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, Putin and Rouhani agreed that the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement.

“Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the UN Charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations,” the Kremlin statement said.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told CBS’ Face the Nation programme that the United States would announce new economic sanctions on Monday aimed at companies “that were dealing with equipment” related to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged chemical weapons use.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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