British PM says no alternative to use of force in Syria

  • British PM says no alternative to use of force in Syria

British PM says no alternative to use of force in Syria

This evening I have authorized British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use.

Theresa May declined to say whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should stay in power and said talks with allies would continue on finding a political solution to the civil war.

May said the missile strike was created to minimize any civilian casualties and was not an attempt to change the Syrian government.

Theresa May will address Parliament on Monday.

The Kremlin on Friday claimed that British intelligence forces helped stage the attack on the Syrian town of Douma last weekend.

And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity.

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest", she added.

She said: "No other group but Syria's military could have carried out the chemical attack".

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations says Russia's claims are 'grotesque, freaky and a blatant lie'.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that four RAF Tornado jets were deployed to launch missiles at a Syrian military facility.

"Very careful scientific analysis was applied to determine where best to target the Storm Shadows to maximise the destruction of the stockpiled chemicals and to minimise any risks of contamination to the surrounding area", the ministry said.

"Our service personnel have played an important role in terms of degrading the ability of the Syrian regime to use chemical weapons in the future", Williamson said.

She said that at an emergency cabinet meeting in London on Thursday "we agreed that it was both right and legal to take military action" after hearing legal advice.

For his part, the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Gerard Batten, opposed the British military action in Syria.

May is not obliged to win parliament's approval before ordering military action, but a non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been established since a 2003 vote on joining the USA -led invasion of Iraq.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said Britain should press for an independent United Nations -led investigation into the suspected chemical attack in Douma rather than wait for instructions from Trump on how to proceed. "This legally questionable action risks escalating further".

Other opposition leaders joined in the criticism.