May says Syria strikes send 'clear message' on chemical weapons
May says Syria strikes send 'clear message' on chemical weapons
16 April, 2018, 13:15
Although the British government on Saturday defended its decision to join the US -led military strikes on Syria without consulting Parliament first, British opinion leaders immediately questioned about the Whitehall's legal justification of such a military action.
Four Royal Air Force Tornado jets from the Akrotiri base in Cyprus fired Storm Shadow missiles at a military facility near Homs where it was assessed that Syria had stockpiled chemicals, Britain's Ministry of Defence said.
"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. "It is not about regime change", May said in a statement. "No other group could have carried this attack", May said.
"It was right to take the action that we have done in the timing that we have done", she said. "We sent a clear message to Assad and his murderous lieutenants that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons' attack for which they will be held accountable".
Earlier, the US, Great Britain and France claimed the strikes had been conducted in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital.
"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".
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The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed those allegations as a bogus story, while Russia's Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they were known for spreading fabricated news.
In her comments, May also alluded to a nerve agent attack in Britain last month on a former Russian spy and his daughter.
Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said Parliament should have been given a vote ahead of the strikes.
He also did not rule out future military action.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that Canada stands with its allies and that it supports the decision " to take action to degrade the Assad regime's ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people".
The Russian embassy noted that "the gist of British reasoning is that the whole global community recognizes that a "new" chemical attack in Syria is imminent and that only the air strikes could prevent it". "The opposition does not operate helicopters or use barrel bombs".
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Assad in a phone call that Iran "stands by Syria", the Syrian presidency said on Saturday. Germany's chancellor said the allied strikes in Syria were a "necessary and appropriate" response.
The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marked a major victory for Assad. The White House said it is continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies about how to respond to the matter.
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Inspectors from the independent Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are now in Damascus. Saturday's strikes on Syria were the first major military operation since Macron's election in May a year ago .
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The UK, US and France have presented plans for a ceasefire in Syria in the wake of their joint airstrikes on the war-torn country. She says the US was confident that they had "significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again".
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