Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen/via Reuters
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen/via Reuters

May summons cabinet to discuss possible military action in Syria

By Time of article published Apr 12, 2018

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London - British Prime Minister Theresa

May summoned her senior ministers to a special cabinet meeting

on Thursday to discuss joining the United States and France in

possible military action against Syria after a suspected poison

gas attack on civilians.

US President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday of

imminent military action in Syria, declaring that missiles "will

be coming" and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian

President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia has warned the West against attacking its Syrian

ally, which is also supported by Iran, and says there was no

chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

May recalled the ministers from their Easter holiday for a

special cabinet meeting in Downing Street later on Thursday to

discuss Britain's response to what she has cast as a barbaric

attack that cannot go unchallenged.

The BBC said May was ready to give the go-ahead for Britain

to take part in action led by the United States without seeking

prior approval from parliament. Downing Street spokesmen

repeatedly declined to comment on that report.

"The chemical weapons attack that took place on Saturday in

Douma in Syria was a shocking and barbaric act," May told

reporters on Wednesday. "All the indications are that the Syrian

regime was responsible."

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said May had ordered British

submarines to move within missile range of Syria in readiness

for strikes against the Syrian military.

May is not obliged to win parliament's approval, but a

non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been

established since a 2003 vote on joining the U.S.-led invasion

of Iraq. It has been observed in subsequent military deployments

in Libya and Iraq.

Britain has been launching air strikes in Syria from its

military base in Cyprus, but only against targets linked to the

Islamic State militant group.

Parliament voted down British military action against

Assad's government in 2013, in an embarrassment for May's

predecessor, David Cameron. That then deterred the US administration of Barack Obama from similar action. 


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