Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has criticized his ally US President Donald Trump for ordering a missile strike against an airbase in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack. The MEP warned that many Trump voters will be confused by his retaliation. “I am very surprised by this. I think a lot of Trump voters will be waking up this morning and scratching their heads and saying, ‘where will it all end?’” he said. “As a firm Trump supporter, I say, yes, the pictures were horrible, but I’m surprised. Whatever Assad’s sins, he is secular.”
Farage also urged Britain not to get involved in any further airstrikes.
“Previous interventions in the Middle East have made things worse rather than better,” he said.
Farage’s comments mark a dramatic turnaround in a relationship that last year saw him dine with Trump and the president publicly urge Prime Minister Theresa May to make Farage the UK ambassador to Washington.
UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has also condemned the Syria attack, saying it was “rash, trigger happy, nonsensical and will achieve nothing.”
“The whole world rightly condemns the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but the US attack on the Assad regime does nothing to lower tensions, nor will it hasten peace in that country.
“Too often rash responses to horrific situations are about the conscience of the attacker, rather than a clear-headed response to an awful situation.
“There are currently no good options in Syria. Assad or ISIS [Islamic State/IS] is not a choice anyone would wish to make. But firing off missiles in an enraged response shows weakness not strength in the face of horror.
“I hoped for better from this administration.”
Trump ordered the US military to fire a barrage of Tomahawk missiles from two US Navy vessels in the Mediterranean Sea, which hit the Shayrat base near Homs in the early hours of Friday. It is claimed the base was responsible for launching a chemical attack on Tuesday, which reportedly killed up to 100 civilians in Idlib province.
The British government says the US missile attack, which killed at least five people, was an “appropriate response” to the alleged chemical attack. It was in “close contact on all levels” with the US, and May was told in advance the strikes were going to take place. Britain was not asked to join in.
Damascus has denied responsibility for the chemical attack. Russian officials say the gas contamination was the result of a leak from a rebel chemical weapons depot hit by Syrian government airstrikes.