The world reacts to Israel's continued air strikes on Syria


A Syrian rebel fighter holds a wounded pigeon in the remains of a destroyed house following an airstrike by the Syrian airforce in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on April 15, 2013.



As Israel continues its air strikes on Syria Sunday, reactions are already trickling in even as key parties (Israel, anyone?) remain mum on the attacks. 

More from GlobalPost: Israeli war planes hit Syria again, allegedly targeting Iranian weapons bound for Hezbollah

UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement Sunday afternoon asking for "restraint."

“The Secretary-General calls on all sides to exercise maximum calm and restraint, and to act with a sense of responsibility to prevent an escalation of what is already a devastating and highly dangerous conflict,” Ban's spokesperson said in the statement.

“The Secretary-General urges respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region, and adherence to all relevant Security Council resolutions," he added. 

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi was one of the first regional leaders to comment on the air strikes on the outskirts of Damascus which allegedly targeted convoys of missiles en route to Hezbollah. 

Morsi said that Egypt "strongly objects" to the bloodshed and the use of Syria's military against its people, but also rejects the violation of Syrian sovereignty and "exploiting its internal crisis under whatever pretext."

He said that the strikes "increase the complexity of the situation."

The Free Syria Army also commented on the strikes, denying any links to the Israeli offensive, Ha'aretz reported

"We condemn Israeli aggression in Syrian territory, but have no connection to it," said Free Syria Army spokesman Loay al-Mikdad. 

"The regime will continue making idle threats like it has done so for 42 years … The Assad regime is on its way out despite all its efforts to divert attention away, he added.

Iran — a close ally of the regime of Bashar al-Assad — condemned the air strikes, but according to the Associated Press gave no hint of a stronger response from Tehran.

"As a Muslim nation, we back Syria, and if there is need for training we will provide them with the training, but won’t have any active involvement in the operations," said Iran's commander of ground forces General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan on Sunday. 

Internationally, Britain was the first to comment about the attacks. Foreign minister William Hague stood behind Israel's right to defend themselves in an interview with Sky News Sunday

"All countries have to look after their own national security, of course, and are able to take actions to protect their own national security," Hague said, before receiving confirmation of the strikes. 

"The longer this goes on, the stronger the case becomes for lifting the arms embargoes on the National Coalition, on the Syrian opposition, if we're left with no other alternative to that," he added. 

Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt also responded on Twitter

The United States has not yet commented on Sunday's strikes, though President Obama stood up for Israel's right to defend their national security interests after news of the initial strike Thursday night surfaced. 

"The Israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah," he said, without mentioning the strike directly. "We coordinate closely with the Israelis, recognizing that they are very close to Syria, they are very close to Lebanon."

CBS News' Mark Knoller tweets: 

Israel itself has stayed the quietest. Asked by GlobalPost to comment on the report, Israel's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor quoted philosopher Ludwig Wittgestein: "'Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent.'"

We'll see how long that lasts.