United Kingdom backs U.S. military action on Syria

US President Donald Trump

Syria warned that it will have "no other choice" but to defend itself if the West launches military action.

Earlier in the day, Bashar al-Jaafari, Syrian ambassador to the U.S., said in NY that two investigating teams from the OPCW were scheduled to arrive in Syria within the next 24 hours.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place". And he insisted it remains USA policy not to be involved directly in Syria's civil war.

"But should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defense of a principle on which we all agree".

The remarks came a day after US President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation that his country would launch missile attacks on Syria after the alleged chemical attack took place.

Britain would work with the United States and France to coordinate an worldwide response, it added.

Trump has claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration has used chemical weapons.

Later, May's office said she had spoken with Trump by telephone, and the two had agreed it was vital to challenge Assad's use of chemical weapons, and that they would continue to work closely together to do so.

Following an emergency Cabinet meeting, Downing Street said ministers had agreed it was "highly likely" Assad was responsible for the attack on Saturday on the rebel-held town of Douma which reportedly left dozens dead.

But British involvement in further military intervention is controversial at home, in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

A YouGov poll published on Thursday showed just one in five British voters supported a missile strike on Syria.

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.

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told the BBC that parliament "can and should be recalled immediately" to hold a vote on the latest possible action.

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.

The country often has restricted itself to supporting roles, such as the participation of reconnaissance jets in the global campaign against the Islamic State group.

Some MPs have backed Britain acting against Syria, warning that the use of chemical weapons was in breach of global law and could not be allowed to go unpunished.

"But on a strategic level, it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control - if you get my drift on that", Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee Thursday morning.

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