LONGUEUIL, Que. - Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield says everyone would benefit from seeing the world through the eyes of astronauts who are aboard the International Space Station.

During his first news conference since arriving at the giant orbiting space lab three weeks ago, the 53-year-old space veteran was asked about the conflict in Syria.

He responded that it was hard to reconcile the beauty of the world as seen from space with the terrible things that people do to each other.

Hadfield earlier tweeted a picture of the Middle Eastern country to his followers -- a number that had reached more than 160,000 on Thursday.

When the prolific tweeter blasted into space on Dec. 19, he had only 20,000 followers on Twitter.

The native of Sarnia, Ont., is making this third space flight after two earlier missions.