Friday 19 August 2022

May to Macron and Trump: UK won't strike Syria without more evidence

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to deploy British troops to military action against Syria without further investigations on Saturday's chemical attack in Douma.

On a telephone conversation with Trump and Macron, May stopped blaming Syria's Assad directly for Saturday's chemical attack, which left at least 40 civilians dead.

She also refused to say whether the UK might take part in airstrikes on Syria, as Trump and Macron make the case for intervention in response to Saturday's massacre, The Times reported.

This contrasted with the more forceful language of the US and French presidents who appear ready for action.

Macron said that French forces could launch strikes on Syria's chemical facilities. 

Trump is expected to make an announcement on whether the US will launch air raids against Damascus. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have said separately they could take part in military action, if asked.

US and French forces have reportedly moved to the eastern Mediterranean in anticipation of the strikes.

Civilian flights have been told to exercise caution in the area by a European flight control body.

May is said to be considering whether to call parliament - which is in recess - for a vote on military intervention on Syria strikes. 

Some members of her party believe that parliament should have the final say on whether the UK takes part in the strikes. It is not clear whether a motion would pass a vote.

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