British ministers back action to deter Syrian chemical weapon use

Casey Dawson
April 16, 2018

Tokyo issued a similar response in April previous year when the United States conducted a missile strike on a Syrian air base that was the alleged source of a chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians. British officials said up to 75 people were killed.

Theresa May is reportedly adamant that the United Kingdom plays an equal part in any military action against Syria.

May spoke with President Trump on Thursday night about the worldwide response to Syria, and they "agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of unsafe behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", according to the Downing Street.

Mattis addressed a hearing of a House of Representatives committee on Thursday.

Mattis said options would be discussed with Trump at a meeting of his National Security Council on Thursday afternoon.

Al-Jaafari was quoted by SANA news agency as saying that the Syrian government was ready to facilitate the teams' entry into any point in Douma, Eastern Ghouta's largest town. She told her senior ministers on Thursday the Douma events showed a "deeply concerning" erosion of global legal norms barring the use of chemical weapons.

The government said it is "highly likely" that Assad is responsible for the Douma attack, with ministers agreeing "it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged".

The samples suggested the presence of both chlorine gas and an unnamed nerve agent, two officials said.

Timeline on risky changeover to freezing rain and sleet in southern MI
Ryerson University cancelled afternoon exams on Saturday , although the morning exams were expected to go ahead as scheduled. As well, a rainfall warning and freezing rain alert were issued for Chatham-Kent and Rondeau Park by Environment Canada .

France has proof that the Syrian government launched chlorine gas attacks and has crossed a line that could prompt French airstrikes, President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.

But across Western capitals opposition to military action also grew. Asked if France is planning to participate in retaliatory attacks on Syria, he was noncommittal.

Asked about the risks of US military retaliation, Mattis cited two concerns, starting with avoiding civilian casualties.

"Until we have a more long-term strategy, until we have some idea where we're going in Syria and the Middle East, it seems unwise, to me, to start launching missiles", said Smith, D-Wash.

The prospect of a confrontation between Russian Federation, the Syrian government's ally, and the West has loomed since Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7. "Not to react is to prove to the rest of the world that what we say does not matter".

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 risky US-Russian war.

"I think it is important to have a common line, without Germany participating militarily", Merkel said.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER