British opinion leaders question legality over strikes on Syria

British opinion leaders question legality over strikes on Syria

"So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime", she said.

Britain's defence ministry said in a statement that four British Tornado jets had fired Storm Shadow missiles at the Syrian base 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Homs at 0100 GMT.

"I believe that the action taken will have significantly degraded the Syrian regime's ability to use chemical weapons", she said.

"The government should do whatever possible to push Russian Federation and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account", he added.

May has repeatedly said that the missile strike on Syria was not about "regime change". "Yet... the worldwide community is not convinced that a chemical attack took place in Douma, and wants to see the results of the ongoing OPCW investigation... to say that "there is no practicable alternative to the use of force if lives are to be saved" is hypocritical, to say the least", the statement says.

"We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this", the prime minister said.

"This collective action sends a clear message that the worldwide community will not stand by and tolerate the use of chemical weapons", May told a press conference.

"There is no proof that the Assad regime is responsible for the chemical attack on civilians", Batten said, referring to the Syrian government headed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

Russia, which intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad, has denied there was a chemical attack and has accused Britain of helping to stage the Douma incident to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said Britain should press for an independent United Nations -led investigation into the suspected chemical attack in Douma rather than wait for instructions from Trump on how to proceed.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the strike as "limited and targeted".

"It was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies to alleviate further humanitarian suffering by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability", May said.

He also did not rule out future military action.

Syrians flooded the streets to celebrate the triumph of the country's army against a US-UK-French coalition strike, teleSUR correspondent Hisham Wannous reported.‏. "The opposition does not operate helicopters or use barrel bombs".

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