World Bulletin / News Desk
In a statement released Friday, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said: "I understand the action of the United States. This is an open and clear warning to the Syrian regime.
“[Syrian regime’s Bashar] Assad himself needs to know that there is no escape from using chemical weapons."
Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano in a statement on Friday said: "Italy understands the reason for the U.S. military action, which was proportionate in timing and methods, as a response to an unacceptable sense of impunity, as well as a signal of deterrent towards the risk of further use of chemical weapons by Assad, in addition to those ascertained by the UN."
Speaking to the press, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said: "U.S. action last night was a response to a war crime for which Assad regime is responsible."
The U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian military air base American officials believe was used to carry out a deadly chemical attack Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed.
The missiles were fired from two U.S. destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and hit the air base at approximately 3.45 a.m. Syrian local time Friday (0045GMT).
Aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems and radars were targeted, the Pentagon said.
On Tuesday, more than 100 civilians were reportedly killed and 500 others -- mostly children -- were injured in the attack allegedly carried out by the Bashar al-Assad regime warplanes in the town of Khan Shaykhun, Idlib province, according to Syrian opposition government's Health Minister Firas Jundi.
The Syrian regime, for its part, denied allegations it targeted the area with chemical weapons.
Last year, a UN-appointed investigation panel found that chemical weapons were mainly used by regime forces in 2014 and 2015. No punitive measures were taken, however.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than a quarter-million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.
The Syrian Center for Policy Research, however, put the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.