The Israelis believe that using chemical weapons should have consequences, so they expressed public support for the American cruise missile strike last week on a Syrian military base, which was in response to a chemical attack by the regime. The United States leadership noticed. On Friday, and on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump , Vice President Mike Pence personally called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to thank him for Israel’s “strong support.”
A press release from Netanyahu’s office said that as part of the call, the Israeli leader “reiterated the need to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons.” Together, Pence and Netanyahu “emphasized the strength of the alliance between Israel and the U.S.” And on Sunday, Netanyahu continued to praise the American action. “Israel fully supports the American attack on Syria,” said Netanyahu in Sunday’s press release. “They did this for moral reasons in light of the harsh scenes from [the chemical attack in] Idlib and also to make it clear that there is a price for using chemical weapons.”
Last Thursday, the U.S. launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase, according to a press statement from Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis. In the statement, posted to the Pentagon website, Davis said the assault was in response to a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government last Tuesday “which killed or injured hundreds of innocent Syrian people, including women and children.”
Also last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the Russian handling of the Syrian chemical weapons deal in which Syria was supposed to have been rid of such weapons of mass destruction. A press release on Friday from her office quoted her as arguing that the only options were that Russia was complicit, was incompetent, or that the Syrian leadership “is playing the Russians for fools.” She called for Russia to “act responsibly” on Syria.
On Sunday, Netanyahu avoided any critique of Russia, but echoed Haley’s lament that the 2013 commitment to remove Syrian chemical weapons “has yet to be fully implemented.”
Said Netanyahu, “We call on the international community to complete the work, and this is an opportunity for American-Russian cooperation in this specific area. This work needs to be completed.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 9, 2017)