US, UK, France launch joint strikes on Syria

16 April, 2018, 13:12 | Author: Wade Massey
  • France says analysis points to Syria behind Douma gas attack

"International law only allows to use force in self-defense or under a Security Council mandate", an embassy press officer said, commenting on the UK's clarification of its legal position, which claimed that the legal basis for the strikes against Syria was "humanitarian intervention".

Four Royal Air Force Tornado jets using Storm Shadow missiles had taken part in the attack on a military facility near Homs where it was assessed Syria had stockpiled chemicals, Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

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. It is not about regime change.

But she will be grilled over why she broke with a convention to seek parliamentary approval for the action, a decision that she and her ministers say was driven by the need to act quickly.

The United States, Britain and France carried out a wave of strikes against the Syrian regime on Saturday a week after the suspected deadly gas attack on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma, in which 40 people were said to have been killed. Russian Federation and Syria claim the attack was fabricated.

In her comments, May also alluded to a nerve agent attack in Britain last month on a former Russian spy and his daughter.

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Much of the criticism will come from opposition lawmakers, but the prime minister may also have to work hard to defend her speed of action to members of her own Conservative Party who had wanted parliament recalled.

When asked if Syria's Assad could remain leader as long as he refrained from further use of chemical weapons, May said: "This was about, as I have said and you have recognized, this was specifically about the use of chemical weapons".

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the strike as "limited and targeted".

Shortly after the military strikes were launched, Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon said United Kingdom foreign policy should be set by Parliament and not Donald Trump after the U.S., United Kingdom and France bombed targets in Syria.

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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