May mulls Syria action despite cautious mood in UK

May mulls Syria action despite cautious mood in UK

Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss joining mooted strikes by the U.S. and allies, with ministers agreeing "on the need to take action", her Downing Street office said in a statement.

Ministers also agreed the May should continue to work with the United States and France to come up with the right response.

Britain's government weighed the possibility of military action against Syria on Thursday, agreeing the "need to take action" despite polls showing the public remains wary of military intervention.

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking its Syrian ally, which is also supported by Iran, and says there was no chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

The UK Cabinet agreed Thursday "that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack", according to the Downing Street statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that the country had "proof" the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma and would support any United States action. But after being criticized for apparently telegraphing United States intentions, Trump on Thursday attempted to blur the timing of any potential airstrikes on Syria.

May told her senior ministers on Thursday that the attack in Douma showed a "deeply concerning" erosion of global legal norms barring the use of chemical weapons. Inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, are due to investigate the incident.

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Following the meeting, May spoke to Donald Trump and the pair agreed that the United Kingdom and the U.S. would "keep working closely together on the global response", according to a statement from Downing Street.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place". It has been observed in subsequent military deployments in Libya and Iraq.

The statement made no reference to whether Parliament would be given a say on military action - prompting renewed concerns among opposition parties and some Tory MPs that Mrs May is prepared to go ahead without a Commons vote. British media reported Wednesday that May has also ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria. The poll showed 43 percent of voters opposed such a strike and 34 percent did not know what should be done.

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.

Britain has been launching air strikes in Syria from its military base in Cyprus, but only against targets linked to the Islamic State militant group.

Conservative former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith tweeted: "We need a clear response to the Syrian chemical outrage".

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