Trudeau States Support for U.S.-led Strikes on Syria
April 13, 2018
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada supports the decision by the U.S., the United Kingdom and France to bomb targets in Syria over the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.
"Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons in last week's attack in eastern Ghouta, Syria," Trudeau said in a statement issued from Lima, Peru, where he is attending the Summit of the Americas.
"Canada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regime's ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people," the statement read.
"We will continue to work with our international partners to further investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Those responsible must be brought to justice."
Trudeau has previously ruled out any Canadian participation in military action.
Earlier Friday, Canada became the latest country to lay the blame for a deadly chemical-weapons attack in Syria last week at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's doorstep, despite Russian suggestions to the contrary.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made the claim hours before U.S. President Donald Trump went on live television to say the U.S., France and the U.K. were launching a co-ordinated attack to destroy Assad's chemical weapons capability.
"When it comes to this use of chemical weapons, it is clear to Canada that chemical weapons were used and that they were used by the Assad regime," Freeland said.
More than 40 people were killed and 500 injured — including women and children — after poison gas was apparently used in an attack on Douma, a rebel-held enclave near the Syrian capital of Damascus, on April 7.
The Syrian government has denied responsibility and Russia has suggested Israel or Britain was to blame, supposedly to justify increased Western intervention into the war-ravaged country.
Freeland did not specify how she knew that the Syrian government was responsible, though she said Canada is working with non-governmental organizations and others to collect evidence of war crimes and other atrocities in Syria.
Russia accuses U.K. of staging chemical attack in Syria
"We have seen as a pattern in the world today is actors who behave in a reprehensible manner, then can be quite clever in trying to muddy the waters and in trying to dodge responsibility," she added.
"Of course, it is important for Canada to be a country that acts based on facts. But it is equally important for us to be aware of the distraction tactics that some of the actors in the world are using today and to not allow those tactics to work."
Canada's participation in attack ruled out
"I think it is completely understandable that the president would feel that, given this crisis situation, he would need to be at home," Freeland said, adding that the Canadian delegation is looking forward to its meeting with Pence.
with files from CBC News
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