European leaders back Syria strikes, warn against escalation

Many European leaders voiced support and understanding Saturday for the U.S.-led air strikes against Syria, but warned against allowing the seven-year conflict to escalate.
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“What has occurred in Syria in recent days goes far beyond the constant violation of cease fires. The response to these atrocities is legitimate and proportionate.” - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
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“This was a limited and targeted action to strike the capacity of building or diffusing chemical arms. It cannot and should not be the start of an escalation.” - Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni.
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“The strike against the Syrian regime that uses chemical weapons to attack the civilian population was inevitable.” - Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
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“We support the fact that our U.S., UK and French allies took on responsibility in this way as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The military strike was necessary and appropriate in order to preserve the effectiveness of the international ban on the use of chemical weapons and to warn the Syrian regime against further violations.” - German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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“The international community has the responsibility to identify and hold accountable those responsible of any attack with chemical weapons. This was not the first time that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against civilians but it must be the last.” - European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
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“Strikes by US, France and UK make it clear that Syrian regime together with Russia & Iran cannot continue this human tragedy, at least not without cost. The EU will stand with our allies on the side of justice.” - Tweet by European Council President Donald Tusk.
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“Belgium strongly condemns all use of chemical weapons which are a blatant violation of international law. Belgium therefore understands the military action in Syria of our American, French and British partners who have targeted identified production facilities.” - Belgian government statement.