May mulls Syria action despite cautious mood in UK


France and Britain have signalled their willingness to take part in military action against Syria but the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the United States president Donald Trump had yet to decide whether to launch strikes.

“They agreed to keep working closely together on the worldwide response”, the statement concluded.

Britain has rejected as a “grotesque, blatant lie” a Russian claim that London helped to fake last week’s chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma, as plans for western military action against Syria remained uncertain.

A separate YouGov survey on Thursday found 61 percent of people think it would be necessary for parliament to vote on military action against Syria, with just 18 percent saying it was not necessary and 21 percent undecided.

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.

Senior EU officials said today evidence clearly pointed to the Syrian regime in investigations over a gas attack on the town of Douma, which killed dozens of people on April 7.

The crisis has evoked memories of the Iraq War, which was approved by parliament and left 179 British soldiers dead and unleashed years of sectarian violence.

But they backed action in Iraq the following year, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes to Islamic State (IS) group targets.

In 2013, Parliament defeated a call by then-Prime Minister David Cameron for air strikes in response to an earlier chemical attack in Syria.

The pro-European National Action Day will lead into the launch of a new “People’s Vote” campaign tomorrow, calling for the British people to be given a vote on the Brexit deal.

“The position is a very risky one because of Russian involvement, also because we have an erratic president of the United States”.

Later, May’s office said she had spoken with Trump by telephone, and the two had agreed it was vital to challenge Assad’s use of chemical weapons, and that they would continue to work closely together to do so. The Downing Street statement did not mention parliament, and a spokeswoman did not comment on those reports.

Some members of May’s Conservative party have urged caution of intervening in a highly complex situation with many different players.


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