New Zealand was given a heads up by the United States before it launched an attack on a Syrian airfield.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee was told a few hours in advance of the attack.

Prime Minister Bill English says we were simply informed but not asked for our view.

English says he understands and United States taking action to prevent the chemical attack in Syria a few days ago occurring again.

He says the action’s supported so long as it’s proportionate.

Speaking to Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB, English said he had been told that Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee “was advised an hour or two before this attack”.

“But we certainly weren’t asked for our opinion on it.

“We’ve seen horrific attacks using chemical weapons which is against all international law.

“We of course would rather see the Syrian differences resolved by diplomatic processes but the Secuirty Council hasn’t been able to condemn it or do anything about it so we can understand the US taking action to prevent that kind of chemical attack occuring again – and we support action as long as it’s proportionate.”