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Erdogan: Assad Got Message "Massacres Wouldn't be Left Unanswered"

© AP PhotoA U. S. Air Force F15 fighter jet takes off after Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015
A U. S. Air Force F15 fighter jet takes off after Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
Earlier in the day, several targets in Syria were hit by over 100 cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles fired jointly by the US, Britain and France, in a punitive strike over an alleged chemical incident in Douma blamed on the Syrian government.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has praised the strikes on Syria, saying it was a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"With the joint operation by US, UK and France on Saturday, the Syrian regime received the message that its massacres wouldn't be left unanswered," he said, adding that innocent Syrians should have been defended long ago.

Erdogan also talked over the phone with UK PM Theresa May on Saturday. The leaders emphasized that the lasting peace can only be reached through political settlement and stressed that it was necessary to prevent further escalation of tensions in the region, the NTV broadcaster reported.

In the meantime, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Saturday that the anti-Syrian operation by the Western states should have been launched a long time ago and that Syrian President Bashar Assad should not rule the country.

Earlier in the day, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag has said: "Before striking targets in Syria, the chiefs of the General Staff of the United States and Turkey, as well as our [Turkish] President and [US President] Trump discussed this issue. Turkey was informed about the attack prior to it. Base Incirlik was not involved in the strike." 

The official went on saying that "ending arm wrestling and finding a political solution are obligatory in Syria."

READ MORE: What We Know So Far on Syria Missile Strike Before Probe Into "Chemical Attack"

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has earlier said that the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria is not enough to end instability in the region as thousands of people are killed by conventional weapons.

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The spokesman stressed that in order to prevent further deaths in Syria a political solution was urgently needed.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry described the air strikes against the Syrian government as an "appropriate" response.

Early on Saturday, the United States, the United Kingdom and France launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in the Damascus' suburb of Douma.

READ MORE: French Intel Alleges Syria Hiding Chemical Weapons Since 2013 — Report

Incirlik Air Base is located in the Turkish city of Adana and is used jointly by the United States Air Force and the Turkish Air Force.

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