British PM May summons ministers to discuss possible military action in Syria

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia left and Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenty speak to reporters in after Security Council consultations of the situation in Syria Thursday

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia left and Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenty speak to reporters in after Security Council consultations of the situation in Syria Thursday

Theresa May received unanimous cabinet backing for United Kingdom military action against Syrian regime targets after senior ministers were briefed by Sir Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser, on the intelligence case pointing to President Assad's culpability for the Douma attack.

"We hope that there will be no point of no return, that the U.S. and the allies will refrain from military action against sovereign states", he said.

"They agreed to keep working closely together on the global response", the statement concluded.

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 the Syrian town of Douma near Damascus.

That assessment appeared to echo French President Emmanuel Macron who said they had "proof" that "at least chlorine" was used in the attack by the regime.

May recalled the ministers from their Easter holiday for the meeting in Downing Street to discuss Britain's response to what she has cast as a barbaric attack that can not go unchallenged. It has been observed in subsequent military deployments in Libya and Iraq.

But rival politicians and some Conservative colleagues have called for a parliamentary vote before any British involvement.




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. The poll showed 43 percent of voters opposed such a strike and 34 percent did not know what should be done.

Formally, the prime minister has the right to go to war without approval from parliament, but a convention has been established in previous conflicts where MPs have a vote either before or shortly after military action begins.

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 continues to support the US-led coalition targeting IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and has conducted more than 1,700 strikes.

"The position is a very unsafe one because of Russian involvement, also because we have an erratic president of the United States". Downing Street spokesmen repeatedly declined to comment on that report.

According to state-run Syrian News Agency (SANA), an official source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the government will cooperate fully with the OPCW fact-finding mission and that it would hold the West responsible for any delays in that mission.

Other members of May's Conservative party have urged restraint in a highly fraught situation.

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