Government response to US action in Syria

The government has issued a response to the action taken by the United States in Syria.

‘This week we were shocked by the horrific images coming out of Syria. Hundreds of innocent men, women and children fell victim to the devastating effects of toxic gas. Many did not survive. The use of toxic gas is a crime against humanity – the worst kind of violence and depravity. The international community cannot take too clear a stand against it. Unfortunately, this week Russia and China blocked a resolution in the UN Security Council against Syria. Once again, efforts to form a united front through international law hit a dead end. A few hours ago the United States sent a clear message that, with the use of toxic gas, a line has been crossed. In the current circumstances this is a proportionate response. The Dutch government considers this understandable. It is a warning to Assad that the deployment of chemical weapons is unacceptable.

We must continue to work through the United Nations to find a common response to the tragedy in Syria and the wider region. Years of talks have unfortunately shown that this is a highly complex undertaking. Some may say impossible, even. But in the end a common response based on international law is the best and only conceivable response to lawlessness, violence and war crimes. The Netherlands will keep working towards that wherever possible.’