Germany's Merkel backs air strikes on Syria as 'necessary and appropriate'

Germany's Merkel backs air strikes on Syria as 'necessary and appropriate'

Officials from Germany, France, Britain and the United States will meet in London on Sunday to discuss the next steps following coordinated Western air strikes against Syria early on Saturday, he said.

As the US and its allies edge toward punitive measures for a chemical weapons attack they blame on Assad, a parallel track is emerging that could possibly include sanctions against Assad's backers.

"A perfectly executed strike last night". Later, he will travel to the United Kingdom.

"Could not have had a better result".

US President Donald Trump had earlier threatened military action against the Syrian government which he blamed for the alleged chemical attack.

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US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the strikes a "one-time shot" with no additional military action planned for now. "We support the decision of our American, British and French allies, who, being permanent members of the UN Security Council, thus taking responsibility" - continued Merkel. "The military intervention was necessary and appropriate", Merkel said in a statement.

Maas has generally struck a tougher tone toward Moscow than his predecessor Sigmar Gabriel, following a poison attack in Britain on retired double agent Sergei Skripal and a cyber attack on German government networks - two incidents that intelligence officials say emanated from Russian Federation.

Germany's foreign minister said more pressure should be applied on Russian Federation over its support for President Bashar Al-Assad, hinting at possible non-military measures alongside threatened allied strikes on Syria.

Merkel also stressed, however, that the use of chemical weapons was always "unacceptable".

"Germany will undertake, in a determined way, diplomatic efforts to support this", Merkel said.

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