21:38 GMT24 February 2020
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    Nouri al-Maliki, former prime minister of Iraq and currently a vice president of the country, criticized this week's US missile strike against Syrian forces in a statement on his Facebook page.

    In the April 7 statement, he said the US "deals with" rulers in the Middle East only "by force."

    He criticized the US for not waiting for a complete investigation of Tuesday's alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, the ostensible reason for the US response, and for not waiting for international consensus.

    "The use of force against terrorists [is possibly] justified, but against states is a serious matter," he wrote.

    Early Friday morning, the US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat airfield, only hours after US President Donald Trump had decried the apparent chemical weapons attack in the country on Tuesday, an incident that killed at least 100, among them many children. Trump and his administration have said there is no doubt embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is to blame for the attack. The Syrian government denies responsibility.

    Muwafaq al- Rubai'i, an Iraqi legislator in Maliki's Shi'ite State of Law Coalition, called the attack "a violation of Syria's sovereignty," Iraqi News reports, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has questioned the conclusion that Assad gassed his own people.

    Other world leaders have reproved the US for its actions. Bolivian Ambassador to the UN Sacha Llorenti advised the UN Security Council to remember the flimsy evidence upon which the US justified launching its 2003 invasion of Iraq during the council's emergency meeting on Friday over the strike.

    "Now the United States believe that they are investigators, they are attorneys, judges and they are the executioners. That's not what international law is about," he said, TeleSur reports. 


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    chemical weapons, airstrike, Nouri al-Maliki, Syria, Iraq, United States
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