Fri Apr 7, 2017 06:23AM
US President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House in January. (file photo)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House in January. (file photo)

The British government says it “fully supports” the US missile strike against a Syrian airbase.

"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," a government spokesman said on Friday.

The show of support was a departure from a warning the day before by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson after US President Donald Trump raised the specter of unilateral action.

UK warns US not to rush into war against Syria

Johnson warned against rushing into a war with the Syrian government, and said the top priority should be peace talks and passing a United Nations resolution to investigate the April 4 chemical attack.

"It is very important to try first to get out a UN resolution," the foreign secretary insisted.

The US military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat airbase in Homs province in western Syrian on Thursday night. The missiles were launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the eastern Mediterranean.

US launches missile strike against Syria

In this image released by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

President Trump said the operation was in response to the chemical attack in Idlib province. The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for that attack.

The Pentagon claimed the airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian aircraft.

Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said measures had been taken to avoid hitting sarin gas stored at the facility.

"So that would not be ignited and cause a hazard to civilians or anyone else," McMaster said.

Several members of Congress urged caution after the strike, saying Trump needed congressional authority for military action.

'This is act of war': US lawmaker on Syria attack