United Kingdom cabinet gives backing to take action against Syria

Adjust Comment Print

Not yet. A statement from May's office on the Thursday meeting said ministers agreed "it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged" and approved her plan to work with France and the United States on a response.

Britain is now part of a US-led coalition conducting air strikes against jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria, and has conducted more than 1,700 such attacks. "It is not about regime change", May said in a statement.

"This action risks not just further escalating the civil war in Syria but also a unsafe escalation of worldwide tensions", said the leader of the left-wing Scottish National Party, the third-biggest force in the British parliament.

President Donald Trump is warning Russian Federation and Iran about their association with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad's government, as he announces the launch of retaliatory strikes after an apparent chemical weapons attack last week.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called the strikes a "one-time shot", although Trump raised the prospect of further strikes if Assad´s government again used chemical weapons.

"I clearly declare that the president of the United States, the president of France and the British prime minister are criminals", Khamenei said in a speech, according to his Twitter account.

However, many others don't agree that military strikes are the best approach and feel that the Prime Minister should have asked Members of Parliament to agree to action before it was taken.

We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

Britain has blamed Russian Federation for the poisoning a charge vehemently denied by Moscow which has accused London of failing to come up with evidence for its claims.

General Joseph Dunford, Washington´s top general, said the precision strikes hit three targets - a scientific research center near Damascus, a storage facility and command post also near the capital and a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs.

France, another long-standing military ally, has said it has proof Assad's forces were behind the attack. A spokesperson told the BBC the facility was "located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation".

Jose Mourinho wants strong Manchester United finish to secure second place
The midfielder has endured a hard season, being dropped for a couple of games at the turn of the year as Mourinho aired complaints over his performances.

However, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a fervent anti-war campaigner, called the strikes "legally questionable" and said May should have recalled parliament from a holiday and "not trailed after Donald Trump".

Parliament is not due to reconvene until Monday, following its Easter recess.

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

A YouGov poll in The Times conducted this week found that 43 percent of voters opposed strikes in Syria, with 34 percent unsure and only 22 percent supportive.

Some MPs have expressed reservations about taking military action, but others have come to believe the 2013 vote was a mistake.

And he set his own precedent just over a year ago when he ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base after sarin was sacked at civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhun.

Tensions between the West and Russian Federation ratcheted up on Wednesday after Donald Trump tweeted that strikes with "nice and new and 'smart!'" missiles were coming.

This has already proven controversial, as Labour and other opposition parties have urged the ruling Conservatives to respect a recent convention that the UK House of Commons approves any military action overseas.

Before the regime launched heavy air strikes on Eastern Ghouta on February 18, people in the former opposition bastion had endured five years of regime siege and food shortages.

May recalled the ministers from their Easter holiday for the meeting at 3:30pm in Downing Street to discuss Britain's response to what she has cast as a barbaric attack that can not go unchallenged.

Labour MP Kevin Brennan wrote: "Parliamentary approval should have been sought".