United Kingdom jets fire at Syrian base in 'limited and targeted' strike

EPA-EFE  Cpl L MATTHEWS BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

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

Four British fighter jets struck a military base near Homs where Britain said Syrian government forces were holding chemical weapon components.

"I believe that the action taken will have significantly degraded the Syrian regime's ability to use chemical weapons", she said.

He attacked the Assad regime for "deploying chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians", referring to the alleged atrocity in Douma last Saturday. "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", he said.

Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the military action was "legal" and defended the decision to go ahead without securing the backing of Parliament.

The US president claimed that the joint action was meant to establish a "strong deterrent" against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons.

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Britain has said there are no plans for future strikes against Syria, but foreign minister Boris Johnson warned President Bashar al-Assad that all options would be considered if chemical weapons were used against Syrians again.

The Russian embassy noted that "the gist of British reasoning is that the whole worldwide community recognizes that a "new" chemical attack in Syria is imminent and that only the air strikes could prevent it".

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, has questioned the legal basis for Britain's involvement.

The DUP has backed Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to authorise air strikes in Syria.

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. "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.

Professor Iain Begg, Research Fellow at the European Institute and Co-Director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), told Xinhua: "A volley of bombs may help the US and its allies feel they have reacted in a timely and proportionate manner to the undoubted horror of the use by the Syrian regime of chemical weapons, but the inevitable worry will be that they have not thought through what happens next".

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