Britain ready for military action in days as cabinet supports May

16 Abril, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Syrian President Bashar Assad

But after being criticized for apparently telegraphing USA intentions, Trump on Thursday attempted to blur the timing of any potential airstrikes on Syria.

Ministers said there was need to "deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", and alleviate the humanitarian situation, a Downing Street statement said.

"They agreed to keep working closely together on the worldwide response", the statement concluded.

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking its Syrian ally, which is also supported by Iran, and says there was no chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

That assessment appeared to echo French President Emmanuel Macron who said they had "proof" that "at least chlorine" was used in the attack by the regime.

But British involvement in further military intervention is controversial at home, in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

The UK Cabinet agreed Thursday "that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack", according to the Downing Street statement.

Corbyn has also evoked memories of the Iraq War, when lawmakers approved joining in the face of strong public opposition.

May is not obliged to win parliament's approval, but a non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been established since a 2003 vote on joining the US -led invasion of Iraq.

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Over 60 percent of UK nationals believe that a parliamentary vote on whether London should join the United States in its possible military action against Syria should be held, a survey by YouGov pollster showed on Thursday.

Parliament voted down British military action against Assad's government in 2013, in an embarrassment for May's predecessor, David Cameron.

Britain has been launching air strikes in Syria from its military base in Cyprus, but only against targets linked to the Islamic State militant group.

Britain continues to support the US-led coalition targeting IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and has conducted more than 1,700 strikes.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted that MPs were entitled to a vote, saying Parliament "must be consulted".

"The position is a very risky one because of Russian involvement, also because we have an erratic president of the United States".

Following the meeting, May spoke to Donald Trump and the pair agreed that the United Kingdom and the USA would "keep working closely together on the worldwide response", according to a statement from Downing Street.

Some MPs have backed Britain acting against Syria, warning that the use of chemical weapons was in breach of worldwide law and could not be allowed to go unpunished.

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