Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

British PM May summons ministers to discuss possible military action in Syria

British PM May summons ministers to discuss possible military action in Syria

She added that the strikes were not about "regime change".

The shadow of the 2003 invasion of Iraq still lingers in the corridors of Britain's parliament, when MPs backed then-prime minister Tony Blair in joining USA military action.

The government's legal position, drawn up with the advice of the attorney-general, Jeremy Wright, and presented to cabinet ministers last Wednesday, said force was justified to alleviate "overwhelming humanitarian suffering".

"We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in our world", she said.

Shanghai: USA, UK, France altogether carried out airstrikes in Syria today after a recent poisonous gas leak killed 75 civilians in Syria's Douma region under Syrian President Bashar regime.

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.

But they backed action in Iraq the following year, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes to targets of the Islamic State group.

Britain's defense ministry said "very careful scientific analysis" had been applied to maximize the destruction of stockpiled chemicals while minimizing any risk of contamination to surrounding areas.

She will say: "Let me be absolutely clear: we have acted because it is in our national interest to do so".

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It added that it believed the Syrian government had committed a "war crime and a crime against humanity" with chemical weapons use and that attempts to find a unified worldwide approach through the United Nations had been blocked by Damascus-ally Moscow.

May said while the strike was targeted at Syria, it sent a message to anyone who used chemical weapons.

United Nations Security Council-mandated inspectors have probed previous attacks and decided Assad's regime was responsible four times, MPs will be told.

As the Conservative leader explained her rationale for the air strikes, opposition parties claimed the attacks were legally dubious, risked escalating conflict and should have been approved by lawmakers. The statement made no specific reference to military action.

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

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.

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

"And we can not wait to alleviate further humanitarian suffering caused by chemical weapons attacks".

He reiterated that Canada condemns the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta.

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