United Kingdom agrees on 'need to take action' over Syria

United Kingdom agrees on 'need to take action' over Syria

Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet to discuss joining mooted strikes by the United States and allies, with ministers agreeing "on the need to take action", her Downing Street office said in a statement.

US President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria, declaring that missiles "will be coming" and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"Britain should press for an independent United Nations -led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account". "But also it's a very, very delicate circumstance and we've got to make this judgement on a very careful, very deliberate, very well thought-through basis". Inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, are due to investigate the incident.

The BBC said May was ready to give the go-ahead for Britain to take part in action led by the US without seeking prior approval from parliament, and the Financial Times said the cabinet had agreed to this.

Conservative former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, tweeted: "We need a clear response to the Syrian chemical outrage".

The United States, France and Britain have launched military strikes in Syria to punish Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians in Douma last week and to deter him from doing it again. The Downing Street statement did not mention parliament, and a spokeswoman did not comment on those reports.

Formally, the prime minister has the right to go to war without approval from parliament, but a convention has been established in previous conflicts where MPs have a vote either before or shortly after military action begins. It has been observed in subsequent military deployments in Libya and Iraq.

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".

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said May had ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria in readiness for strikes against the Syrian military. A YouGov poll showed just one in five members of the public support a strike on Syria.

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 Defense (MoD) said. That then deterred the USA administration of Barack Obama from similar action.

The war plans of British leaders have been complicated in recent years by the memory of Britain's 2003 decision to invade Iraq after asserting - wrongly, as it later turned out - that President Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

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