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Merkel says political methods should be used to remove Assad

April 07, 14:38 UTC+3

On Thursday night, at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the US forces fired 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles on a Syrian military air base

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© EPA/FELIPE TRUEBA

BERLIN, April 7. /TASS/. The Syrian crisis should be solved politically while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be removed through democratic procedures, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin on Friday while commenting on the US attack on the Syrian air base.

"I would like to emphasize like never before that it is right and important to focus on political talks within the United Nations Security Council and in Geneva, in order to pave the way for political transition and the use of democratic procedures to remove Assad’s regime that has caused the Syrian people so much suffering," she said.

At the same time, the German chancellor said that the US attack was appropriate "in light of large-scale war crimes, the suffering of innocent people and the blockade in the UN Security Council." However, Merkel said that "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was the only one responsible for these developments."

On Thursday night, at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the US forces fired 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) on a Syrian military air base located in the Homs Governorate. The attack came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. The US authorities believe that the airstrike on Idlib was launched from that air base. The US attack killed at least nine civilians, including four children, while another seven people were wounded.

On April 4, Reuters cited the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that an airstrike on Syrian’s town of Khan Shaykhun had killed 58 people including 11 children. Reuters alleged that the chemical attack could have been carried out by "Syrian government or Russian jets."

The World Health Organization said in a statement that "at least 70 people have died and hundreds more have been affected."

The Russian and Syrian militaries denied their involvement in the attack. Russia’s Defense Ministry later said that on April 4, the Syrian air force had delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Shaykhun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical bombs. These bombs were sent to Iraq and were previously used in Aleppo.

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