Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

UK Govt Agrees on 'need to Take Action' over Syria

UK Govt Agrees on 'need to Take Action' over Syria

The British leader's office said Cabinet ministers "agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime". "It is not about regime change". May is not required by law to consult the House of Commons, but by convention, members of Parliament expect to be consulted.

"It was right to take the action that we have done in the timing that we have done", she said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would decide whether to strike Syrian government targets after the reported attack by internationally banned chemical munitions in Douma once all the necessary information had been gathered.

Britain's defence ministry said in a statement that four British Tornado jets had fired Storm Shadow missiles at the base 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Homs at 0100 GMT.

Prime Minister Theresa May has called government ministers to a Thursday cabinet meeting on Syria, which media reports said was likely to lead to London joining in a military response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria.

The Kremlin said Mr Putin warned against rushing to blame the Syrian government before conducting a "thorough and objective probe".

"This is not about intervening in a civil war".

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

The British, US and French bombings on Saturday followed an alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma on April 7.

May referred specifically to last month's nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the southern English cathedral city of Salisbury that she has blamed on Russian Federation.

"Corbyn will rail against military action, claiming it could widen the conflict, but if he won't sanction military action against a regime that is using chemical weapons on its own people, when would he ever sanction it?" he told AFP. "We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized - within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in our world".


"We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this".

May said the strikes would "send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity".

Mr Trump appeared to row back from a suggestion on Wednesday that missile strikes were imminent, insisting in his latest tweet that he had never set out a timetable for military action.

"The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk", the MoD said in a statement.

Britain's defense ministry said initial indications were that the precision weapons and meticulous target planning had "resulted in a successful attack".

The one-off missile strike in April 2017 targeted the airfield from which the Syrian aircraft had launched their gas attack.

Mrs May has faced criticism from across the political spectrum for failing to recall Parliament and put the plans to a vote.

"No decision as yet, the cabinet is meeting in full at 1530 to discuss", Brexit minister David Davis said.

"Any possible action will only cause more instability in the region and threaten global security and peace", Syrian state TV quoted Assad as saying at a meeting Thursday with a high-level Iranian delegation in Damascus.

Corbyn's drive for legislation to limit the government's power to launch future military action may win support in parliament, where some Conservatives have expressed fear of fuelling an escalation in Syria.

"Bombing can not substitute for diplomacy", he said.

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