BEIRUT – The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):
The Group of Seven leading industrialized nations has issued a joint statement endorsing the U.S.-led air strikes in Syria.
The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, the United States and European Union said in a joint statement early Tuesday that they condemn the April 7 chemical attack in eastern Ghouta in Syria.
The G-7 say they “fully support all efforts made by the United States, the United Kingdom and France to degrade the (Bashar) Assad regime’s ability to use chemical weapons and to deter any future use” with the strikes.
The say the airstrikes last Saturday by the three nations were “limited, proportionate and necessary” and followed “only after exhausting every possible diplomatic option to uphold the international norm against the use of chemical weapons.”
The G-7 members say they “remain committed to a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria.”
Syrian state-run television has reported that the country’s defenses have confronted a new “aggression,” shooting down missiles over the central Homs region.
It didn’t say who carried out the early Tuesday airstrikes. The Syrian Central Media said the missiles targeted Shayrat air base in Homs. Another strike earlier this month in Homs was blamed on Israel.
The report comes a few days after the U.S., Britain and France conducted airstrikes targeting alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack that they blamed on the Syrian government.
Experts from the international chemical weapons watchdog are in Syria and are now expected to visit that site in the town of Douma Wednesday. That’s after Syrian and Russian authorities prevented them from going to the scene Monday.