- Title: Germany says U.S. informed it of missile strikes shortly before launch
- Date: 7th April 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (APRIL 7, 2017) (REUTERS) GERMAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN STEFFEN SEIBERT TALKING TO SPOKESMEN FROM DEFENCE AND FOREIGN MINISTRIES JOURNALISTS SEIBERT TAKING SEAT (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN, STEFFEN SEIBERT, SAYING: "Regarding being informed, I can tell you that the U.S. government informed the chancellery and defence minister during the night. The chancellor was informed promptly about the events by the defence minister and her security advisers. The defence ministry spokesman can give further details about information chains." (SOUNDBITE) (German) DEFENCE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, BORIS NANNT, SAYING: "The defence minister was informed about the strikes by her American colleague James Mattis shortly beforehand." VARIOUS OF JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (German) FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, SEBASTIAN FISCHER, SAYING: "The colleagues representing us in Washington were in contact with their American partners throughout the night and the impression we got was that this was a targeted and limited attack." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN, STEFFEN SEIBERT, SAYING: "After the chemical weapons massacre on the civilian population of Khan Shaykhun and the U.S. airstrikes last night, the German chancellor and the French president are in agreement that President Assad bears the sole responsibility for this development. Germany and France will now continue their efforts together with their partners and within the framework of the UN to sanction the use of chemical weapons, which is a war crime and internationally proscribed, and to bring President Assad to justice for his actions." JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN, STEFFEN SEIBERT, SAYING: "The German government as a whole finds it deeply regrettable that it has not been possible to adopt a resolution of the UN Security Council regarding this horrifying attack on Khan Shaykhun. The chancellor said yesterday that it was a scandal that such a resolution was blocked, Anybody who acts in this way against his own people, who uses chemical weapons - one of the worst imaginable war crimes - again and again, simply cannot be tolerated." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 21st April 2017 11:22
- Keywords: Steffen Seibert government spokesman Germany Syria United States missile strike
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0016BEHPAF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The United States informed Germany shortly before it launched missile strikes on a Syrian airbase from which Washington said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched this week, a German government spokesman said on Friday (April 7).
It was the first direct U.S. assault on the government of Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war. In the biggest foreign policy decision of his presidency so far, Trump ordered the step his predecessor Barack Obama never took: directly targetting Assad's military as punishment for the chemical weapons attack which killed at least 70 people.
The swift action is likely to be interpreted not only as a signal to Russia, but also to other countries such as North Korea, China and Iran where Trump has faced foreign policy tests early in his presidency.
A spokesman for Germany's Foreign Ministry said the United States had given Berlin the impression during the contact overnight that this was a targeted and limited attack.
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