Military action in Syria is a success - UK, US and France say

May ‘orders British submarines into position’ as UK considers strike against Syria

Mike Vallance Bae Systems Global Look Press

"My fellow Americans, a short time ago I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator of Bashar al-Assad".

The rising tension over the Douma attack demonstrates the volatile nature of the Syrian civil war, which started in March 2011 as an anti-Assad uprising but is now a proxy conflict involving a number of world and regional powers and a myriad of insurgent groups. "It is not about regime change", May said in a statement.

Speaking in Downing Street, May said the "limited and targeted strikes" had degraded Syria's ability to use chemical weapons.

"But the USA administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals", he said, calling for the government to press for an independent UN-led investigation of the chemical weapons attack in Syria.

McKenzie says Syrian air defenses did not successfully engage any of the aircraft or missiles involved in the operation, and there was no indication that Russian air-defense systems were used.

The allies want to prevent a repeat of an apparent chemical attack in Douma.

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"While the full assessment of the strike is ongoing, we are confident of its success", she added.

She added that she would address parliament on Monday.

May will also apply for an emergency debate to give lawmakers "an extended opportunity to discuss the military action", her office said, in what could be an attempt to draw the sting out of any opposition motion for the same.

The prime minister "should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump", he said.

The UK Cabinet agreed Thursday "that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack", according to the Downing Street statement.

The attack was announced by US President Donald Trump.

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Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a fervent anti-war campaigner, had said Britain should press for an independent UN-led investigation into the suspected chemical attack in Douma rather than wait for instructions from Mr Trump on how to proceed.

May is expected to face questions from Tory MPs anxious about the potential consequences of Saturday's raids, the government's plan for tackling the broader Syrian conflict and the decision to ignore the recent convention of seeking parliament's approval before military action.

"I think it is absolutely appropriate that the prime minister and the cabinet made this decision", he told Sky News. The poll showed 43 percent of voters opposed such a strike and 34 percent did not know what should be done.

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.

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.

The U.S., France and Britain have been consulting about launching a military strike, but the timing and scale of any action remain unclear.

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The U.S. has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria as advisers to a makeshift group of anti-Islamic State fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. A USA -led coalition has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since September 2014 as part of a largely successful effort to break the IS grip on both Syria and Iraq.

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