Czech political scene divided over air strikes on Syria
The air strikes against military targets in Syria carried out by US, UK and France in the wake of a recent chemical attack on civilians in the Syrian city of Douma have divided the Czech political scene. While the government endorsed the attack, the president and some opposition parties denounced it as aggressive and unacceptable.
“As the Czech Republic perceives it, these strikes are a clear warning to anyone who would consider using chemical weapons against civilians that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It was crucial to draw a line that must not be crossed.”
Foreign Minister Stropnický said the US had thanked the Czech Republic for its support in the matter. He said that in a phone conversation his US counterpart John Sullivan, the US Foreign Secretary had said the US appreciated the show of support and emphasized the importance of the fact that the Czech Republic is the only EU member state which still operates an embassy in Damascus, representing the interests of the US, among others.
However the Czech political scene was far from united on the matter of the strikes, with the Communists and Freedom and Direct Democracy Party calling it an act of aggression and the Social Democrats expressing concern that it would only escalate tensions in the region.
After a meeting with the president, the prime minister toned down his earlier show of support for the strikes, saying that military action is not a solution and criticizing the fact that the strikes went ahead without being sanctioned by the UN Security Council.