US strikes on Syria 'justified', says Israeli official

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by the US, British and French forces in Damascus on April 14, 2018.
Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by the US, British and French forces in Damascus on April 14, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS/SYRIA TV

JERUSALEM (AFP) - US-led strikes in Syria on Saturday (April 14) are an “important signal” to Iran, Syria and and Lebanese militant group Hizbollah, a senior Israeli Cabinet minister said.

“The use of chemical weapons crosses a red line that humanity can no longer tolerate,” Mr Yoav Gallant, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security Cabinet, wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, another Israeli official said the punitive US-led strikes on Syria are justified because of the "murderous actions" of the Damascus government.

"Last year, (US) President Donald Trump said that the use of chemical weapons would violate a red line. This night, under America's guidance, the United States, France and Britain acted accordingly (because) Syria continues to carry out its murderous actions," the official, who declined to be identified, said.

"Syria also serves as a base to carry out such action, namely on behalf of Iran, endangering its territory, its forces and its leadership," the official added.

Public radio said that Israel had been informed ahead of time of the strikes that were carried out by the United States, France and Britain.

Tensions have been running high between Israel and its arch-foe Iran, a key backer of the Syrian regime which provides military advisers and "volunteer" ground forces to Damascus.

On Monday, seven Iranian personnel were among 14 people killed in an early morning strike on the T-4 airbase in Syria, with regime allies Iran and Russia blaming Israel for the attack.

Israel did not deny or confirm any responsibility.