Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

UK's May summons Cabinet to discuss Syria military strike

UK's May summons Cabinet to discuss Syria military strike

British Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria in readiness for strikes against the Syrian military that could begin as early as Thursday night, the Daily Telegraph newspaper said.

"Six in ten Brits (61%) say that it should be necessary for Parliament to vote first on whether the United Kingdom takes part in military action in Syria - 18% say it should not be necessary for Parliament to vote on the matter", the pollster wrote on Twitter on the results of its survey.

May has not reached a final decision on whether Britain would join any strikes by the United States and France in response to a suspected chemical attack, but wants to be able to act swiftly, the newspaper said.

Just Thursday, Mrs. May stuck a more cautious tone, implying it was not "confirmed" that President Bashar al-Assad was behind the alleged use of banned chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb over the weekend.

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Later, May's office said she had spoken with Trump by telephone, and the two had agreed it was vital to challenge Assad's use of chemical weapons, and that they would continue to work closely together to do so.

However, some of her MPs have expressed caution about getting involved in the complex conflict in Syria and are pressing for parliament to be recalled from its Easter break to discuss any action.

But they backed action in Iraq the following year, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes to Islamic State (IS) group targets. The statement made no specific reference to military action.

The Russian military on Friday said it had proof that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Eastern Ghouta was staged on orders from London.

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Corbyn has said any action in Syria should be put to a parliamentary vote.

"What we've got here in Syria is a choice between monsters on the one hand and maniacs on the other", Julian Lewis, the chairman of the House of Commons defence committee, told the BBC.

Another Conservative MP, former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, tweeted: "We need a clear response to the Syrian chemical outrage".

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