UK's May says Syria chemical weapons can't go unchallenged

Darnell Taylor
April 15, 2018

Theresa May received unanimous cabinet backing for United Kingdom military action against Syrian regime targets after senior ministers were briefed by Sir Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser, on the intelligence case pointing to President Assad's culpability for the Douma attack.

"This action risks not just further escalating the civil war in Syria but also a unsafe escalation of global tensions", said the leader of the left-wing Scottish National Party, the third-biggest force in the British parliament. The UK asserts that the action is not about interfering in a civil war or about regime change.

Only 5% adhere to the Russian version of events that there probably wasn't a chemical attack and the claims are "fabrications".

The strikes, which had been expected since Trump had tweeted a series of warnings to Syria over the past week, follows reports last Saturday of up to 75 people, including young children, being killed in the Syrian city of Douma.

The leaders of The US, UK and France are due to hold more discussions on a response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Mr Trump said the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons on Douma was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime".

Ministers sat down for their meeting shortly after the French President Emmanuel Macron announced he had "proof" chemical weapons had been used by Bashar al-Assad's forces.

A spokesperson added the facility was "located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation" and scientific analysis was used to "minimise any risks of contamination to the surrounding area".

Nikki Haley says US prepared to maintain pressure on Syria
Russia's Defense Ministry stated that the majority of coalition missiles were intercepted by Syrian defense systems. Aboul-Gheit spoke from the city of Dammam in Saudi Arabia, where an Arab League summit is to take place Sunday.

The assessment notes eight chlorine attacks ahead of the "major attack" on Douma and 44 allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria over the past year. Britain has accused Russia of being behind last month's nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, southern England, a charge Moscow has rejected.

'This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly.

Ian Blackford, who heads the Scottish National Party group in Parliament, said May "presides over a minority government that has no majority or mandate for military action, and there must be no attempt to bypass Parliament". "The use of chemical weapons can not go unchallenged". Britain's parliament is in recess until Monday, but it could be recalled for an emergency debate.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the military action against Syria was "legally questionable" and makes real accountability for war crimes less likely.

Intelligence and open source accounts indicated that the Syrian government was behind the attack on Saturday, according to the PM.

She condemned Russian Federation for vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a new body to determine responsibility for the attack, saying it meant "there can be no role now for investigations by the United Nations".

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.

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