United Kingdom backs USA military action on Syria

16 April, 2018, 01:51 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • UK Cabinet to discuss military action in Syria

A military operation would be a big deal for Macron, his first military action as president, at a time of heightened domestic tensions over labor law changes.

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.

The council has already failed to agree on a response to the attack in three votes and has been deadlocked throughout the Syrian civil war.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that such an attack could spin out of control, suggesting caution in advance of a decision on how to respond to an attack against civilians last weekend that USA officials are increasingly certain involved the use of banned chemical weapons.

He said the U.S. is trying to get an inspection team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to the site of the alleged attack.

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Trump said Assad's recent attack was a fallout of Russia's "failure" to keep the promise of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons. Russia's ambassador to the United States said Moscow had warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences".

Earlier on Wednesday, May said all the indications were that the Syrian authorities were responsible for the attack in the town of Douma and that such assaults could not go unchallenged.

May told her senior ministers on Thursday that the attack in Douma showed a "deeply concerning" erosion of worldwide legal norms barring the use of chemical weapons.

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss support for USA action against the Syrian regime.

France already has some 1,100 troops involved in its Operation Chammal, created in 2014 to fight Islamic State extremists in Iraq and extended in 2015 to Syria, as part of the USA -led coalition.

A YouGov poll in The Times conducted this week found that 43 percent of voters oppose strikes in Syria, with 34 percent unsure and only 22 percent supportive. The Downing Street statement did not mention parliament, and a spokeswoman did not comment on those reports. May isn't legally required to do that, though it has become conventional since the 2003 invasion of Iraq for lawmakers to be given the chance to vote before British forces are deployed.

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British lawmakers voted down taking military action against Damascus in 2013, in what was widely viewed as an assertion of parliamentary sovereignty on the use of force.

Corbyn has said any action in Syria should be put to a parliamentary vote.

Although Mattis noted the risks of military action, he emphasized that Syria's use of chemical weapons should not be tolerated.

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.

"What we've got here in Syria is a choice between monsters on the one hand and maniacs on the other", Julian Lewis, the chairman of the House of Commons defence committee, told the BBC.

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