Sun Apr 9, 2017 02:51PM
Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond
Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond

The US government must abide by international laws and avoid taking unilateral action against Syria, says Alex Salmond, a Scottish lawmaker in the UK Parliament.

Upon a direct order from President Donald Trump, the US Navy’s USS Porter and USS Ross guided-missile destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea at Syria’s al-Shayrat airfield early on Friday, destroying as many as 20 aircraft.

The White House says the attack was in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on Tuesday that Washington insists was carried out by Syrian fighter jets operating from the base.

Salmond told the BBC on Sunday that Washington has to follow the required procedures before taking such military actions.

“There should be a proper UN investigation and those responsible should be arraigned before the International Criminal Court (ICC),” the MP said. “That's the way you impose international rule of law. That's what should happen.”

This satellite image by the US military shows a battle damage assessment image of al-Shayrat Airfield, Syria, following a US missile strike, April 7, 2017.

Noting that the US does not recognize the ICC, Salmond argued that there were other mechanisms in place to conduct investigations and take into account those who are responsible.

“Military action without that basis of law, without that framework, is no substitute for doing what's right and proper: to impose the rule of law and stop these things happening again,” argued Salmond, who served as Scottish First Minister from 2007 to 2014.

Damascus has strongly denied using “any chemical or toxic material.”

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The Syrian government turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013. The United Nations Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has overseen operations to remove the chemical arsenal from Syria.

US should have provided evidence

Meanwhile, Hans Blix, who once served as the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the US needed to make a legal case before acting so hastily.

Hans Blix

"I don't know whether in Washington they presented any evidence, but I did not see that in the Security Council," he said. "Merely pictures of victims that were held up, that the whole world can see with horror, such pictures are not necessarily evidence of who did it."

Protesters in cities across the US, as well as other countries, have demonstrated against the US missile strikes, expressing their resentment against Washington’s warmongering policy.