Syria Strikes Send 'Clear Message' On Chemical Weapons - British PM

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Sturgeon said the suspected use of chemical weapons was "sickening", but warned that the latest action risked "dangerous escalation".

May said the aim was to deter the Syrian authorities from further use of chemical weapons and to send a message to the wider world that it was unacceptable to use such weapons.

Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the military action was "legal" and defended the decision to go ahead without securing the backing of Parliament. "It is not about regime change", May said in statement made from her country residence at Chequers just minutes after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the strikes from the White House.

He attacked the Assad regime for "deploying chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians", referring to the alleged atrocity in Douma last Saturday.

Over 100 missiles were fired on the morning of Saturday, April 14, targeting what representatives of coalition forces called chemical weapons sites in retaliation for an earlier poison gas attack.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, has questioned the legal basis for Britain's involvement. "No other group could have carried this attack", May said.

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"Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm's way", Corbyn said.

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 US -led invasion of Iraq.

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

Asked why she had proceeded without consulting parliament, May cited operational security consideration.

"We should not be surprised if we detect major intrusions into U.S., United Kingdom and French cyberspace and social media", Barrons said.

"There is also the question as to how this use of force will be linked and subordinated to strategies for bringing the fighting in Syria to a rapid end and for resetting relations between the West and Russian Federation", he said in the commentary. "The opposition does not operate helicopters or use barrel bombs".

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