Merkel voices support for US-led strike on Syria

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As the USA and its allies edge toward punitive measures for a chemical weapons attack they blame on Assad, a parallel track is emerging that could possibly include sanctions against Assad's backers. But she added that the violation of worldwide rules against chemical weapons is serious, and "the reactions will be appropriate".

Last night, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in Duma.

"Could not have had a better result".

In 2003, then USA president George W. Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier returning from the Gulf - with a banner that read "Mission Accomplished" behind him - a declaration that proved premature.

Berlin said it would consequently direct its energy towards non-violent means of preventing the use of further chemical weapons in Syria, for example by supporting the activities of the United Nations Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

"The military operation was necessary and appropriate to uphold the global ban on chemical weapons and to warn the Syrian regime against further violations".

Maas said it was critical to first achieve a lasting, nationwide ceasefire in Syria, along with humanitarian access, but the next step would be to negotiate a lasting solution that addresses the legitimate interests of the Syrian people.

In the recent past, Merkel had reiterated that Germany would not participate should Washington decide to take military action against Syria for Damascus' alleged use of chemical weapons.

Merkel also stressed, however, that the use of chemical weapons was always "unacceptable".