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Trump talks with allies as he weighs Syria strike decision

16 April, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Bashar al-Assad

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it is "vital that parliament has the chance to debate and decide in advance" of any military action, which he warned "risks a unsafe escalation of the conflict".

Some MPs have backed Britain acting against Syria, warning that the use of chemical weapons was in breach of global law and could not be allowed to go unpunished.

May has said "all indications" point to Syrian responsibility for the attack.

The rising tension over the Douma attack demonstrates the volatile nature of the Syrian civil war, which started in March 2011 as an anti-Assad uprising but is now a proxy conflict involving a number of world and regional powers and a myriad of insurgent groups.

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking its Syrian ally President Bashar al-Assad, who is also supported by Iran, and says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, a town near Damascus which had been rebel-held until this month.

The U.S. now has blood and urine samples from last Saturday's deadly attack in Syria that have tested positive for chemical weapons, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence.

Asked about possible US strikes on Syria, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria".

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss support for U.S. action against the Syrian regime.




Trump has claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration has used chemical weapons.

Opposition lawmakers have called on May to give Parliament a vote before committing British troops. Downing Street spokesmen repeatedly declined to comment on that report.

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 USA -led invasion of Iraq.

The Times reports that "the largest U.S. air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war" is now heading towards Syria, and that US-led strikes are expected to begin "within the next three days".

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

Twenty-one percent of the respondents said they did not know if it was necessary to hold a parliamentary vote on whether London should engage in the military actions against Syria.

Some MPs have backed Britain acting against Syria, warning that the use of chemical weapons was in breach of global law and could not be allowed to go unpunished.

"What we've got here in Syria is a choice between monsters on the one hand and maniacs on the other", Julian Lewis, the chairman of the House of Commons defence committee, told the BBC.

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