Germany's Merkel backs joint strike on Syrian regime

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Later, he will travel to the United Kingdom.

Speaking at a joint news conference with the Danish prime minister in Berlin, Merkel said Germany is closely following recent moves by the USA and France after last weekend's suspected chemical attack by the Syrian regime in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.

As the US and its allies edge toward punitive measures for a chemical weapons attack they blame on Assad, a parallel track is emerging that could possibly include sanctions against Assad's backers.

On Friday night, the U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S., the United Kingdom and France jointly launched strikes targeting the al-Assad regime's alleged chemical weapons capabilities.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the strikes a "one-time shot" with no additional military action planned for now.

"The military operation was necessary and appropriate to uphold the global ban on chemical weapons and to warn the Syrian regime against further violations".

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Germany did not participate in the air strikes, but backed them as a "necessary and appropriate" action to warn Syria against further use of chemical weapons, Merkel said on Saturday.

"We support the decision of our American, British and French allies, who, being permanent members of the UN Security Council, thus taking responsibility" - continued Merkel.

Germany's foreign minister said on Friday that Berlin is looking to step up its pressure on Russian Federation over the Syria issue.

Merkel added: "A century after the end of World War I... we must fight against the erosion of the (international) convention on chemical weapons".

"Germany will strongly support all diplomatic steps in this direction", - assured the Chancellor.