Are these the battle lines for World War Three? Graphic shows which countries are siding with Russia or the US in their support - or condemnation - of Assad

  • President Donald Trump, 70, launched airstrikes on a Bashar al-Assad controlled airbase in Syria on Thursday
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today praised the American airstrike following the chemical attack
  • He said that the strikes sent a 'strong and clear' message that chemical weapons will not be tolerated in 2017 
  • Both Britain and Australia praised the US action as an 'appropriate response' to what happened in the week
  • Syria and Russia have denounced it as an 'act of aggression' with Putin saying it damages relationship with US


The US airstrikes on a Syrian regime airbase have hardened the dividing lines across the world in regards to the Assad regime.
MailOnline has set out world leaders' positions on the conflict, which clearly shows the split between pro and anti-Assad countries.
It suggests which side of the battle line countries would position themselves on should the escalating crisis turn into an all out global conflict. 
This map, created by MailOnline, shows who supports who in the battle for Syria - with the UK, France, Germany and the US belonging on the 'Anti Assad' side 
This map, created by MailOnline, shows who supports who in the battle for Syria - with the UK, France, Germany and the US belonging on the 'Anti Assad' side 
Israel's Prime Minister has led international praise of President Donald Trump's airstrikes on Syria
Israel's Prime Minister has led international praise of President Donald Trump's airstrikes on Syria
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) has led international praise of President Donald Trump's (left) airstrikes on Syria
A US-launched missile heads for the al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs in Syria on Thursday night where it caused severe damage to military aircraft and weapons
A US-launched missile heads for the al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs in Syria on Thursday night where it caused severe damage to military aircraft and weapons
The US military fired more than 50 tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs on Thursday
'What Assad did is terrible': Trump on Syrian gas attack
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Britain, Israel, Canada, France, Germany and Turkey all spoke out strongly in their condemnation of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, following the strikes on Friday.
Meanwhile, Russia has blasted the US, with the country's UN envoy accusing President Trump  of 'violating international law' by firing at an airbase near Homs.   
Britain and Israel today specifically praised Trump's airstrikes, which took place in the wake of a deadly poison gas attack on a rebel-held town in Syria.
This puts them at odds with countries including Russia, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Algeria and Venezuela, who have all shown their support for Assad in the past.  
France and Germany today said that Assad bears 'sole responsibility' for the US strike.   
On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the strike saying it sent a 'strong and clear' message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. 
He said: 'Israel fully supports President Trump's decision and hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime's horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.'
The attacks in neighboring Syria have worried Israel, which has warned against 'game-changing' weapons reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon from Syria.
The Israeli leader and Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, hope America's actions will send a 'significant message' to the likes of Iran and North Korea, where leaders have repeatedly ignored warnings against the use of such weapons. 
The Israel Defense Forces said Friday that Israel, along with many other international allies, were informed by the US ahead of the military strike, which saw at least 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from two American naval destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean strike the Shayrat Airfield north of Damascus.  
The strike was in retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack Tuesday in the northern Syrian province of Idlib that left at least 86 people dead. 
Britain backed the US missile strike, describing it as an 'appropriate response', as the government offered its full support to Trump's targeted assault.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: 'The UK Government fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is intended to deter further attacks.' 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said Syrian president Assad bore 'sole responsibility' for the US strike on a regime airbase.
In a joint statement on Friday, they said: 'After the chemical weapons massacre of April 4 on Khan Sheikhun in northwestern Syria, a military installation of the Syrian regime was destroyed by a US air strike last night. President Assad bears sole responsibility for this development.'
Hollande added that the US strike was what France had been calling for in the wake of the 2013 chemical attack. 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the US attack was 'understandable' given the Syrian people's suffering.
She said: 'The attack of the United States is understandable given the dimension of the war crimes, given the suffering of innocent people, and given the blockage in the U.N. Security Council.' 
In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed the strike was a swift response to a shocking war crime. 
'The Australian Government strongly supports the swift and just response of the United States,' Turnbull said on Friday. 'This was a proportionate response by the United States. It is not designed to overthrow the Assad regime.   
'But we are not at war with the Assad regime and United States have made it clear that they are not seeking to overthrow the Assad regime.'
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insists that a deadly poison gas attack which killed at least 70 people in Syria is a war crime and 'cries out for a strong response'
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insists that a deadly poison gas attack which killed at least 70 people in Syria is a war crime and 'cries out for a strong response'
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Vladimir Putin and Russia of failing to carry out their duty to prevent Syria from using chemical wepaons
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Vladimir Putin and Russia of failing to carry out their duty to prevent Syria from using chemical wepaons
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) accused Vladimir Putin (right) and Russia of failing to carry out their duty to prevent Syria from using chemical weapons
Turkey called for Assad's immediate ouster on Friday, voicing support for the US missile strike on one of his air bases.
Turkey, part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State, has long argued there can be no peace in Syria under Assad.  
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: ''It is necessary to oust this regime as soon as possible from the leadership of Syria.
'If he doesn't want to go, if there is no transition government, and if he continues committing humanitarian crimes, the necessary steps to oust him should be taken.' 
Meanwhile, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said the strike was 'a positive response' to the 'war crimes' of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
He said: 'In order to prevent similar massacres from happening again, it is necessary to enforce a no-fly zone and create safe zones in Syria without further delay.' 
Two top EU officials have offered cautious endorsement of the missile strikes on a Syrian airbase. 
Donald Tusk, the chairman of EU leaders, said: 'US strikes show needed resolve against barbaric chemical attacks. EU will work with the US to end brutality in Syria.' 
The head of the bloc's executive European Commission said he 'understood' efforts to deter any more chemical attacks.
Jean-Claude Juncker said: 'The US has informed the EU that these strikes were limited and seek to deter further chemical weapons atrocities.
'The repeated use of such weapons must be answered. There is a clear distinction between air strikes on military targets and the use of chemical weapons against civilians.' 

Italy also gave its support to the US air strike against Syrian, adding it was a suitable response and a deterrent against the use of chemical weapons.    
Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, said: 'Italy understands the reasons for the US military action.
'The strike was a commensurate response... and a signal of deterrence against the risks of further use of chemical weapons by Assad.'  
Saudi Arabia praised the 'courageous decision' saying the missile launch by Trump was the right response to 'the crimes of this regime to its people in light of the failure of the international community to stop it.'
Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia is a longtime opponent of Assad and has supported the rebels fighting against him. It also views the long-running war as a proxy conflict between it and its Middle East archrival, the Shiite power Iran.
Of course, not everyone welcomed the strike which Syrian officials labelled an 'act of aggression.'
Talal Barazi, the governor of Homs province, said the strikes had led to death and destruction at the airbase.
Iran has also 'strongly condemned the US strike' warning that they would likely just lead to increased terror activity.
Heartbreak: Disturbing footage shows Syrian father Abdul Hamid al-Yousef crying uncontrollably over the graves of his wife and two children who were killed in a suspected sarin gas attack this week
Heartbreak: Disturbing footage shows Syrian father Abdul Hamid al-Yousef crying uncontrollably over the graves of his wife and two children who were killed in a suspected sarin gas attack this week
Syrian father Abdul Hamid al-Yousef was pictured cradling the bodies of his dead twins after they were killed in the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in the rebel-held central province of Idlib, Syria
Syrian father Abdul Hamid al-Yousef was pictured cradling the bodies of his dead twins after they were killed in the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in the rebel-held central province of Idlib, Syria

'Iran strongly condemns any such unilateral strikes,' the Iranian news agency ISNA quotes foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. 'Such measures will strengthen terrorists in Syria... and will complicate the situation in Syria and the region.' 
Qasemi added that the strike 'is dangerous, destructive and violates the principles of international law.' 
Iran is one of the biggest supporters of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. Its hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard is deeply involved in the war. America's Sunni Arab allies in the Gulf view Syria as a proxy conflict between it and Shiite power Iran.
Russia also denounced the strike as an 'act of aggression against a UN member' and warned that the move could end cooperation between the Russian and US military branches.
Viktor Ozerov, head of the defense committee in the Russian Federation Council, told state news agency RIA that the US strikes 'may undermine the efforts in the fight against terrorism in Syria.'
'Russia will demand an urgent UN Security Council meeting after the US airstrike on Syrian aviation base. This is an act of aggression against a UN member.' 
It is an act of 'aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law', the Kremlin added. 
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Kremlin-controlled upper house of parliament, has since warned that the strike has put an any prospective U.S.-Russian anti-terror coalition 'to rest without even being born.'
Kosachev added that 'it's a pity,' suggesting that Trump had been pressured to act by the Pentagon.
He added that while 'Russian cruise missiles strike the terrorists, U.S. missiles strike Syrian government forces who are spearheading the fight against the terrorists.'
The U.S. military fired 59 tomahawk missiles at the Assad controlled airfield on Thursday. 
It's the toughest direct U.S. action yet in Syria's six-year-old civil war and raises the risk of confrontation with Russia and Iran - Assad's two main military backers. 
The move came just hours after President Trump denounced this week's horrific chemical weapons attack as an 'egregious crime', saying 'it shouldn't have happened. And it shouldn't be allowed to happen.'
President Trump, speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate where he is entertaining the Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng as part of a two day summit, said the U.S. had to act after Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad launched the 'horrible chemical weapons attack' on innocent civilians. 
'Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack,' he said. 'It was a slow and brutal death for so many.' 

TIMELINE OF THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND US RESPONSE 

The U.S. attack on a Syrian air base came after years of heated debate and deliberation in Washington over intervention in the bloody civil war.
Chemical weapons have killed hundreds of people since the start of the conflict, with the U.N. blaming three attacks on the Syrian government and a fourth on the Islamic State group. One of the worst yet came Tuesday in rebel-held northern Idlib and killed dozens, including women and children.
That attack prompted President Donald Trump, on day 77 of his presidency, to dramatically shift U.S. policy, with the first direct U.S. attack on the Syrian government.
Trump blamed Syrian President Bashar Assad for the attack and called on the international community to join him in trying to end the bloodshed.
A timeline of events in Syria leading up to Tuesday's attack:
March 2011: Protests erupt in the city of Daraa over security forces' detention of a group of boys accused of painting anti-government graffiti on the walls of their school. On March 15, a protest is held in Damascus' Old City. On March 18, security forces open fire on a protest in Daraa, killing four people in what activists regard as the first deaths of the uprising. Demonstrations spread, as does the crackdown by President Bashar Assad's forces.
April 2011: Security forces raid a sit-in in Syria's third-largest city, Homs, where thousands of people tried to create the mood of Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of protests against Egypt's autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Aug. 18, 2011: President Barack Obama calls on Assad to resign and orders Syrian government assets frozen.
Summer 2012: Fighting spreads to Aleppo, Syria's largest city and its former commercial capital.
August 20, 2012: Obama says the use of chemical weapons would be a 'red line' that would change his calculus on intervening in the civil war and have 'enormous consequences.'
March 19, 2013: The Syrian government and opposition trade accusations over a gas attack that killed some 26 people, including more than a dozen government soldiers, in the town of Khan al-Assal in northern Syria. A U.N. investigation later finds that sarin nerve gas was used, but does not identify a culprit.
August 21, 2013: Hundreds of people suffocate in rebel-held suburbs of the Syrian capital, with many suffering from convulsions, pinpoint pupils, and foaming at the mouth. U.N. investigators visit the sites and determine that ground-to-ground missiles loaded with sarin were fired on civilian areas while residents slept. The U.S. and others blame the Syrian government, the only party to the conflict known to have sarin gas.
Aug. 31, 2013: Obama says he will go to Congress for authorization to carry out punitive strikes against the Syrian government, but appears to lack the necessary support in the legislature.
Sept. 27, 2013: The U.N. Security Council orders Syria to account for and destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, following a surprise agreement between Washington and Moscow, averting U.S. strikes. The Security Council threatens to authorize the use of force in the event of non-compliance.
Oct. 14, 2013: Syria becomes a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, prohibiting it from producing, stockpiling or using chemical weapons.
June 23, 2014: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says it has removed the last of the Syrian government's chemical weapons. Syrian opposition officials maintain that the government's stocks were not fully accounted for, and that it retained supplies.
Sept. 23, 2014: The U.S. launches airstrikes on Islamic State group targets in Syria.
Aug. 7, 2015: The U.N. Security Council authorizes the OPCW and U.N. investigators to probe reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, as reports circulate of repeated chlorine gas attacks by government forces against civilians in opposition-held areas. Chlorine gas, though not as toxic as nerve agents, can be classified as a chemical weapon depending on its use.
Aug. 24, 2016: The joint OPCW-U.N. panel determines the Syrian government twice used helicopters to deploy chlorine gas against its opponents, in civilian areas in the northern Idlib province. A later report holds the government responsible for a third attack. The attacks occurred in 2014 and 2015. The panel also finds that the Islamic State group used mustard gas.
Feb. 28, 2017: Russia, a stalwart ally of the Syrian government, and China veto a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing sanctions against the Syrian government for chemical weapons use.
April 4, 2017: At least 58 people are killed in what doctors say could be a nerve gas attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held Idlib province. Victims show signs of suffocation, convulsions, foaming at the mouth and pupil constriction. Witnesses say the attack was carried out by either Russian or Syrian Sukhoi jets. Moscow and Damascus deny responsibility.
April 4, 2017: President Donald Trump issues a statement saying that the 'heinous' actions of Assad's government are the direct result of Obama administration's 'weakness and irresolution.'
April 5, 2017: Trump says Assad's government has 'crossed a lot of lines' with the suspected chemical attack in Syria.
April 6, 2017: The U.S. fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria Thursday night in retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians, U.S. officials said. It was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government and Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president. Trump said strike on Syria in the 'vital national security interest' of the United States. 

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