LONDON Britain fully backs the U.S. military strike against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched, a government spokesman said on Friday.
"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," the spokesman said.
In a sharp escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria, two U.S. warships fired dozens of cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean Sea at the airbase controlled by President Bashar al-Assad's forces in response to the poison gas attack in a rebel-held area on Tuesday.
"Overnight, the US has taken military action against the Syrian regime, targeting the airfield in Shayrat which was used to launch the chemical weapons attack earlier this week," the British government spokesman said.
The Tomahawk missiles were launched from the USS Porter and USS Ross around 8:40 p.m. EDT (0040 GMT on Friday), striking multiple targets - including the airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations - on the Shayrat Air Base, which the Pentagon says was used to store chemical weapons.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Nick Macfie and Costas Pitas)