Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Britain ready for military action in days as cabinet supports May

The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook is reported to be in the Mediterranean as US and allied forces made their final preparations for possible attacks on Syria. REUTERS  Yoruk Isik Britain ready for military action in days as cabinet supports May
Faye Gross | 16 April, 2018, 01:46

It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any US military action.

But the pinpoint strike did not deter Assad and United States officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have since investigated as many as 10 suspected chemical attacks.

Al-Jaafari was quoted by SANA news agency as saying that the Syrian government was ready to facilitate the teams' entry into any point in Douma, Eastern Ghouta's largest town.

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 remarks came a day after US President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation that his country would launch missile attacks on Syria after the alleged chemical attack took place.

The prospect of a confrontation between Russian Federation, the Syrian government's ally, and the West has loomed since Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7.

The U.S., France and Britain have been consulting about launching a military strike.

"Cabinet agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", a spokeswoman for the prime minister said in a statement after the meeting.

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

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But rival politicians and some Conservative colleagues have called for a parliamentary vote before any British involvement.

A spokesman for May declined to comment on the report.

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.

A YouGov poll published on Thursday showed just one in five British voters supported a missile strike on Syria.

Britain has launched air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, but not against the country's government.

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.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said parliament should be consulted before May approved military action.

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

"We have not yet made any decision to launch military attacks into Syria", Mattis told lawmakers on the House Armed Services committee.

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