World

Theresa May faces MPs' questions on Syria air strikes

Theresa May faces MPs' questions on Syria air strikes

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has slammed Premier Theresa May for not consulting the parliament before allowing the British military to join the USA and France in carrying out coordinated airstrikes in Syria.

Syria says it had given up its chemical weapons in 2013.

"This legally questionable action risks escalating further.an already devastating conflict".

Officials have said all 105 missiles that were launched hit their targets, and the US President Donald Trump has declared "mission accomplished".

Many are anxious that an estimated 2,000 USA forces fighting in Syria against ISIS could now face retaliation from Syrian or indeed Russian or Iranian forces helping Assad's troops.

Parliament is not due to reconvene until Monday, following its Easter recess.

"Today, the nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality", Trump said.

Trump said he also has a message for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing the criminal Assad regime. At that time, May's predecessor David Cameron had made it clear he wanted to see Assad overthrown.

A woman supporter of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr holds a Syrian flag during a protest against western air strikes on Syria, at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq April 15, 2018.

The targets included a Syrian center in the greater Damascus area for the research, development, production, and testing of chemical and biological weaponry as well as a chemical weapons storage facility near the city of Homs.




Theresa May is to face MPs' questions about her decision to authorise air strikes against the Syrian government.

"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", she said. Some people will suspect that that didn't happen because of governmental concerns that they couldn't get the vote in Parliament.

When asked if Syria's Assad could remain leader as long as he refrained from further use of chemical weapons, May said: "This was about, as I have said and you have recognized, this was specifically about the use of chemical weapons".

"Riding the coattails of an erratic US President is no substitute for a mandate from the House of Commons".

May added Britain and its allies had sought to use every diplomatic means to stop the use of chemical weapons, but had been repeatedly thwarted, citing a Russian veto of an independent investigation into the Douma attack at the U.N. Security Council this week.

He said with or without the vote it would be "largely symbolic" and would mainly just acknowledge that Parliament has had its say.

The center-right Conservatives rely on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, Northern Ireland's biggest party, for a majority in parliament. "These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead", he said.

"But it was the world saying that we have had enough of the use of chemical weapons, the erosion of that taboo that has been in place for 100 years has gone too far under Bashar Assad", he said.

The Labour leader added that weapons inspectors were on their way to verify the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.


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