ROME Italy gave its support to a U.S. air strike against a Syrian airfield on Friday, saying it was a suitable response to Syrian aggression and a deterrent against the use of chemical weapons by its leader Bashar al-Assad.
The United States fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base earlier on Friday from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched this week.
"Italy understands the reasons for the U.S. military action," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said in a statement.
The strike was "a commensurate response ... and a signal of deterrence against the risks of further use of chemical weapons by Assad."
Italy currently holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven industrialised nations.
Italy's two largest opposition parties, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the anti-immigrant Northern League both condemned the U.S. strikes.
(reporting By Gavin Jones)