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

16 April 2018

The shadow of the 2003 invasion of Iraq still lingers in the corridors of Britain's parliament, when MPs backed then-prime minister Tony Blair in joining United States military action. "The opposition does not operate helicopters or use barrel bombs".

"This legally questionable action risks escalating already devastating conflict".

Labour MP Kevin Brennan wrote: "Parliamentary approval should have been sought".

The prime minister added the military assault was not about regime change, toppling Assad or intervening further in the war.

He confirmed that manned aircraft were involved in the airstrikes that hit three facilities in Syria that the U.S. claims are part of its chemical weapons program.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", the USA president said in a televised address.

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"The UK is permitted under worldwide law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering", the statement said.

Over 100 missiles were fired on the morning of Saturday, April 14, targeting what representatives of coalition forces called chemical weapons sites in retaliation for an earlier poison gas attack.

She added: "I think that Parliament should have been recalled before the strike".

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking its Syrian ally President Bashar al-Assad, who is also supported by Iran, and says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, a town near Damascus which had been rebel-held until this month.

The Prime Minister is expected to face angry MPs after launching military action without securing the support of the Commons.

But after the Conservatives entered office in 2010, the government suggested that since the 2003 vote on Iraq, a convention had emerged that MPs should have a say, except in cases of emergency.

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David Cameron, who was prime minister in 2013, tweeted on Saturday: "As we have seen in the past, inaction has its consequences".

But US Ambassador to the United Nationals Nikki Haley has said her country is "locked and loaded" to strike Syria again if more such attacks continue.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said May had ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria in readiness for strikes against the Syrian military. The strikes at 0100 GMT were 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Homs.

She said she authorized British forces to join in the strikes after intelligence indicated Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's government was responsible for an attack using chemical weapons in the Damascus suburb of Douma a week ago.

"This action risks not just further escalating the civil war in Syria but also a risky escalation of worldwide tensions", said the leader of the left-wing Scottish National Party, the third-biggest force in the British parliament.

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