Britain ready for military action in days as cabinet supports May

Britain ready for military action in days as cabinet supports May

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said no decision had been taken to launch strikes and stressed Washington was taking time to assess the implications of possible military action after Russia warned it could lead to a unsafe US-Russian war.

Trump has since tempered those remarks and the White House said no final decisions on possible actions had been taken.

Earlier on Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned the West against attacking Syria, saying accusations about the suspected chemical attack on Douma were "fabricated".

"We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in our world", she said. She told her senior ministers on Thursday the Douma events showed a "deeply concerning" erosion of worldwide legal norms barring the use of chemical weapons.

During the two-hour meeting yesterday afternoon, ministers agreed to join forces with the USA and France to prevent Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces from launching an "appalling and inhumane" attack again.

"There is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime", May said in a televised statement.

British lawmakers voted down taking military action against Damascus in 2013, in what was widely viewed as an assertion of parliamentary sovereignty on the use of force.

More news: 'Russophobic Campaign': Moscow Claims Britain 'Staged' Syrian Chemical Attack

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.

Addressing the Security Council, Haley laid out Washington's case for resorting to force, challenging Russia's claim that military action would be in violation of worldwide law.

"Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace", Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said in a statement.

Twenty-one percent of the respondents said they did not know if it was necessary to hold a parliamentary vote on whether London should engage in the military actions against Syria.

The UN chief spoke by phone with the ambassadors from the five permanent council members - Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States - to express his "deep concern" about the deadlock at the council over Syria.

The BBC said May was ready to give the go-ahead for Britain to take part in action led by the US without seeking prior approval from parliament, and the Financial Times said the cabinet had agreed to this. Ahead of the meeting, Haley sounded a note of caution, saying there should be no rush to launch air strikes even though "at some point you have to do something". That then deterred the USA administration of Barack Obama from similar action.

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