UK's May summons Cabinet to discuss Syria military strike

13 April, 2018, 03:08 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • James Mattis listens as President Donald Trump speaks during the Baltic Summit at the White House in Washington

Theresa May received unanimous cabinet backing for United Kingdom military action against Syrian regime targets after senior ministers were briefed by Sir Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser, on the intelligence case pointing to President Assad's culpability for the Douma attack.

U.S. 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 al-Assad.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron, who, together with Trump and May, is spearheading the Western response to the alleged chemical attack, claimed that the Syrian government "at least" used chlorine in Douma, without providing any new evidence to back up the claims.

May has indicated she wants Britain to join in any US -led strikes in response to the attack in Douma.

The UK and U.S. leaders discussed Syria in a phone call on Thursday evening, a Downing Street spokesman said in a statement.

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"The chemical weapons attack that took place on Saturday in Douma in Syria was a shocking and barbaric act", May told reporters on Wednesday.

May called an emergency meeting of her Cabinet for Thursday afternoon to discuss Syria, and The Telegraph newspaper reported that the prime minister has already ordered British submarines to move within missile range of the country.

"All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible", May said. May is not legally necessary to accomplish that, even though it is conventional for lawmakers to become given the occasion to vote.

The Cabinet meeting suggests May could decide to sidestep parliamentary approval for military strikes amid reports that Assad has begun moving his arsenal away from air bases that are likely to be targeted. That then deterred the US administration of Barack Obama from similar action.

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