Syria airstrikes: Theresa May defiant after acting without Commons vote

Syria airstrikes: Theresa May defiant after acting without Commons vote

"Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace", said Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran leftist leader of the main Opposition Labour Party. It did not eradicate the chemical weapons capability of the Syrian regime.

Julian Lewis, a fellow Conservative lawmaker, who is the chairman of the House of Commons defense select committee, appeared to question the strategy behind the attacks, saying that Britain's air force should not be allowed to become the air arm of the jihadist opposition forces in Syria.

"These were not empty buildings", May said, saying the targets included a scientific research centre developing chemical weapons, a chemical weapons bunker and command post and a missile base, assessed to be a location of sarin gas.

"We are confident in our own assessment that the Syrian regime was highly likely responsible for this attack and that its persistent pattern of behaviour meant that it was highly likely to continue using chemical weapons", she will say.

Theresa May defended her decision to authorise British bombing raids on Syria without support from MPs as she refused to commit to seeking parliamentary approval for similar action in the future. "And I will make them", she said.

"This was a limited, targeted strike on a legal basis that has been used before. And it was a decision that required the evaluation of intelligence and information, much of which was of a nature that could not be shared with parliament".

Ireland will not condemn the air strikes and Irish sources said there was no division within the European Union about the need to deter chemical attacks and that the Assad regime was involved in wholesale slaughter of its own people.

United Kingdom intelligence services concluded that chemical weapons were used in an attack on the town of Douma on April 7 and there was "absolutely no doubt" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime was responsible, May said. "Nobody should be in any doubt of our resolve to ensure that we can not see a situation where the use of chemical weapons is normalised".

Responding to May, Corbyn accused the prime minister of being drawn into the action at the behest of the US.

"I think what we need in this country is something more robust like a War Powers Act so that governments do get held to account by Parliament for what they do in our name", he told The Andrew Marr show.

"The overwhelming why this was the right thing to do, and that is to deter the use of chemical weapons - not just by the Assad regime - but around the world", Mr Johnson said.

A Kremlin statement said Mr Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, agreed during a telephone conversation that the air strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution of the conflict in Syria.

Legally, the British prime minister was not obliged to consult Parliament before ordering the military action, but the recent convention has been to do.

Opinion polls suggest that most Britons do not support military action, with one by Survation taken after the strikes were launched showing 40 percent of the 2,060 people asked opposed the action. May "at what point the president instructed her that military action should be taken".

The strikes, carried out alongside the United States, mark May's first major military action since coming to power nearly two years ago.

"I believe that parliament should have been consulted and voted on the matter".

"Once again we have been dragged into military action with little regard for the humanitarian [situation] on the ground and no long-term strategic plan".

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