United Kingdom joins Syria air strikes in response to chemical attack

United Kingdom joins Syria air strikes in response to chemical attack

United Kingdom joins Syria air strikes in response to chemical attack

The latest attack came a year after the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikun in northwestern Syria was hit by an air strike following which USA warships in the Mediterranean fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase.

A series of missile strikes were launched last night against Syria by the US, UK and France in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma a week ago.

Theresa May termed Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons as a "persistent pattern of behaviour", adding that the British government judged it highly likely that the Syrian regime has continued to use chemical weapons since [the attack last June], and this must be stopped. It is not about regime change.

Asked if the strikes had also been a warning to Russian Federation, the PM said: "The action that took place last night was an action which was focused on degrading and deterring the operational capability and the willingness of the Syrian regime to continue to use chemical weapons".

"The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk", the MoD said in a statement.

"But I believe it should also be a message to others that the worldwide community is not going to stand by and allow chemical weapons to be used with impunity".

"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.

Britain would work with the USA and France to coordinate an worldwide response, it added.

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Besides Trump, French President Emanual Macron said in a statement that they also could not tolerate the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote on air strikes against Assad's forces in 2013 when 30 Conservative lawmakers voted against action, with many Britons wary of entering another conflict after intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region.

"We are reassured that the military action is strictly targeted and limited in its objective".

"Bombing can not substitute for diplomacy", he said.

"It was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies to alleviate further humanitarian suffering by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability", May said.

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that the country had "proof" the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma and would support any U.S. action.

"So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime".

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