British opinion leaders question legality over strikes on Syria
Apr 15 2018 by Desiree Burns
USA officials told reporters that the strike involved Tomahawk cruise missiles.The British Defense Ministry said that four RAF tornado jets also took part in the strike.
British jets fired missiles at a Syrian military base suspected of holding chemical weapons components, in the UK's first military action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"No other group could have carried this attack", May said.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said initial indications showed that the strikes had been "successful".
May stressed that the airstrikes were not aimed at regime change or intervening in the civil war that has been ravaging Syria for years.
The Syrian Regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the most cruel and abhorrent way.
May later told reporters in her Downing Street office that the Western missiles struck a chemical weapons storage and production facility, a chemical weapons research centre and a military bunker involved in chemical weapons attacks.
President Donald Trump said the air strikes were in response to the "evil and despicable" chemical attack on April 7 which left "mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air". She said speed was essential and that military action was in the national interest.
"Welcome the news of United Kingdom military strikes against major chemical weapons facilities in Syria alongside our USA and French allies".
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The UK is "confident" that air strikes carried out by Britain, the United States and France on suspected chemical weapons facilities in Syria have been successful, the PM has said. He warned that intervention would lead to a proxy war with Russian Federation which would be "not only risky to Britain, but the entire world". But she declined to give any signal about the future of Assad.
Britain has accused Russian Federation of being behind last month's nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, southern England - a charge Moscow has denied. Moscow has denied any involvement.
When asked if Syria's Assad could remain leader as long as he refrained from further use of chemical weapons, May said: "This was about, as I have said and you have recognized, this was specifically about the use of chemical weapons".
Peter Felstead, editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, said he did not think May would face a "serious backlash", as the strikes ultimately were politically and operationally "the right thing to do".
British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday that Prime Minister Theresa May should have sought approval from parliament before ordering cruise missile strikes against Syria. "Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace".
"Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm's way", he said.
US President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House, saying the three allies had "marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality".
May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss possible action on Thursday and there had been calls for the British parliament to be consulted before any air strikes.