Sri Lankan General Secretary of Amnesty International Salil Shetty speaks during the launch of a new report in Colombo on April 5, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

Amnesty International has mildly criticized a recent US strike on a Syrian airbase, noting that a “knee-jerk reaction” is no substitute for a proper investigation into chemical attacks.

“It’s one thing to have some air strikes by the US on a one-off basis, but it’s not going to address this problem,” said Amnesty’s Secretary General Salil Shetty on Tuesday.

US warships deployed to the eastern Mediterranean launched a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles against Shayrat Airfield, southeast of the western Syrian city of Homs, on Friday. Washington, without providing any evidence, alleged that the attack came in response to a chemical attack by the Syrian government in Khan Shaykhun.

Syria has categorically denied carrying out the gas attack, with the foreign ministry stressing that an Idlib airstrike had targeted a depot, where terrorists stored chemical weapons.

“The biggest challenge we have in Syria, the reason why this keeps happening again and again is because there is no accountability and no justice,” Shetty said.

He added that such actions only serve to prove that the world’s ability to enforce human rights is in “shambles.”

Shetty also slammed all five permanent members of the UN Security Council for playing “politics” amid the situation in Syria.

“Instead of taking care of global peace and global interests, they play politics,” Shetty added.

He also noted that US President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, was in “complete contradiction” to the distress he was showing for the victims of the Khan Shaykhun attack.

Through an executive order, Trump has been trying to impose an entry ban on citizens from several Muslim countries.

– US missile strike against Syria ‘act of war’ –

The US missile strike against Syria last week was an “act of war” and demonstrates that President Donald Trump lied about his prior opposition to American military intervention in other nations, says an anti-war activist in Chicago.

Trump’s ostensibly dramatic decision to order the strike on Syria was not based on his sympathy for victims of last week’s suspected gas attack, said Joe Iosbaker, a leader of the United National Antiwar Committee.

The strike “killed seven civilians, including four children; then he went on national television and did the best acting job he can muster; his performance was pathetic,” Iosbaker said in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

“His attempt to sound like he actually cared for children; I think he only convinced the leadership of the US Congress,” he added.

Two US Navy destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea at Syria’s al-Shayrat airfield early on Friday, In retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on April 4 that Washington insists was carried out by Syrian fighter jets operating from the base.

The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for the gas attack, and there is no evidence that it was behind the assault.

During his presidential election campaign, Trump had indicated that he would be less willing than some of his predecessors to conduct military operations against other countries.

In 2013, as a businessman, Trump advised former President Barack Obama not to strike Syria after a sarin gas attack near Damascus was reported.

Some of Trump’s far-right backers have rebelled after the military strike, criticizing the US president for abandoning his election campaign promises.

They blamed anti-Assad militants for staging a false-flag attack meant to be pinned on the Syrian government.

“Trump is now the CEO of American capitalism and US imperialism; they need him to act this way,” Iosbaker said.

“The US government represents Wall Street; it’s the US ruling class that is threatened by the existence of any nationalist governments in the world that stand-up to the US; that are independent of the US and their economic policies, their military and foreign policies,” he added.

– Trump’s strikes in Syria message to N Korea, other adversary nations: Tillerson –

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the country’s recent airstrikes against a Syrian airbase should be considered as a message to North Korea.

“The message that any nation can take is, ‘If you violate international norms, if you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

US military warships, stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, fired dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat air base near the Syrian city of Homs on Friday, following allegations that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons on a town in the Idlib province earlier.

As many were speaking up against the US aggression, the secretary of state appeared on US media to defend Trump’s order for the attack and use it as a means to threaten North Korea.

“In terms of North Korea, we’ve been very clear that our objective is a denuclearized Korea peninsula,” he said.

Earlier, the US sent a Navy strike group toward the Korean Peninsula following a meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

During an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the secretary of state suggested that Beijing had thrown its support behind the move.

“President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken,” Tillerson said.

Last week, North Korea fired a ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.

In February, it also simultaneously launched four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which landed close to Japan.


US missile attack on Syria

US President Donald Trump congratulated US military for the successful application of a missile strike on Syrian airbase

The hypocrisy of missile attack over Syria

The White House: US open to the possibility of further missile strikes in Syria



(Press TV contributed for this report)