DUP backs Theresa May's decision to authorise air strikes in Syria

Nellie Chapman
April 16, 2018

She said she authorized British forces to join in the strikes after intelligence indicated Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's government was responsible for an attack using chemical weapons in the Damascus suburb of Douma a week ago.

The joint attack by the United States, Britain, and France, which began at 3:55 a.m. local time (0055 GMT), launched some 110 missiles targeting Syrian military sites in the Syrian capital Damascus and elsewhere, Syria's state news agency SANA said, citing the military.

Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the military action was "legal" and defended the decision to go ahead without securing the backing of Parliament. He warned that intervention would lead to a proxy war with Russian Federation which would be "not only unsafe to Britain, but the entire world".

She said that at an emergency cabinet meeting in London on Thursday "we agreed that it was both right and legal to take military action" after hearing legal advice.

Four Royal Air Force Tornado jets using Storm Shadow missiles had taken part in the attack on a military facility near Homs where it was assessed Syria had stockpiled chemicals, Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", he said.

Russia, which intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad, has denied there was a chemical attack and has accused Britain of helping to stage the Douma incident to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

Protesters Gather to Show Disappointment in Trump's Airstrikes on Syria
US, British and French forces hit Syria with over 100 missiles in retaliation for a chemical attack blamed on Assad's regime. That inquiry ended in November after Russian Federation , which backs Assad, blocked three attempts by the U.N.


Williamson told BBC radio that all British crews returned safely and early indications were that the strikes had been "highly successful".

Correspondents from the British and world press also asked the prime minister to explain what role can the Parliament play in making a decision to attack another sovereign country.

However, May is facing questions over the legality of committing United Kingdom forces to any USA -led attack on Syria.

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.

"This legally questionable action risks escalating further... an already devastating conflict", he said, adding that May should have sought parliamentary approval.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also said the strikes risked "dangerous escalation".

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