Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

British PM faces backlash for bypassing MPs on Syria

British PM faces backlash for bypassing MPs on Syria

Opposition parties say MPs should have been consulted before the United Kingdom joined the USA and France in bombing three Syrian sites, in response to a suspected chemical attack on the town of Douma.

In further remarks that could prove controversial after the Salisbury poisoning, Corbyn also called for "a shift from the rhetoric of endless confrontation with Russia", which he said could "help lower the temperature, and make a United Nations consensus for multilateral action to end Syria's agony more likely". "It is not about regime change", May said in a statement.

"It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties", she said.

He said: 'Parliament must be consulted on this.

"It was right to take the action that we have done in the timing that we have done", she said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said in London that the West had tried "every possible" diplomatic means to stop Assad from using chemical weapons.

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, US ambassador Nikki Haley warned if there was further use of chemical weapons in Syria, America is "locked and loaded".

"We are acting together with our American and French allies".

"And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack".

Her predecessor, David Cameron, lost a vote on air strikes against Assad's forces in 2013, with many in Britain wary of entering another conflict, especially after an inquiry concluded that then-prime minister Tony Blair's decision to join the 2003 US -led war against Iraq was based on flawed intelligence.

By launching strikes without prior approval from Parliament, Mrs May dispensed with a non-binding constitutional convention dating back to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

She added that she would address parliament on Monday.

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 awful regime".

"So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime". The United States responded with 58 missile strikes that destroyed 20% of the Syrian airforce.

Senior government ministers were summoned back from a spring break to discuss the attack last week in Douma, which has sparked a tense confrontation between Western nations and Syria and its allies, led by Russian Federation.

The MoD added the facility was located "some distance" from "concentrations of civilian habitation", and the risk of contamination to the surrounding area had been minimized.

Both Syria and Russian Federation have said reports of the attack were fabricated by rebels and rescue workers in Douma and have accused the United States of seeking to use it as a pretext to attack the government.

The one-off missile strike in April 2017 targeted the airfield from which the Syrian aircraft had launched their gas attack.

May is not required by law to seek parliamentary approval for offensive military action, but recent interventions in Libya and Iraq have been put to a vote.

"No decision as yet, the cabinet is meeting in full at 1530 to discuss", Brexit minister David Davis said.

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.

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