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READ: UK Prime Minister Theresa May's statement on Syria strikes

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Syria news Theresa May and Putin

Mr Macron said he has been talking regularly this week with USA president Donald Trump about the most effective response and that any French action would target Syria's chemical weapons abilities.

In a statement released on Thursday night, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister spoke to President Trump about Syria this evening".

"This evening I have authorised British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use".

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.

"This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped - not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we can not allow the erosion of the global norm that prevents the use of these weapons".

Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) says Berlin says the U.S., Britain and France "took responsibility in this way as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council". "It is not about regime change", May said in a statement.

A child is treated in a hospital in Douma, eastern Ghouta in Syria, after what a Syria medical relief group claims was a suspected chemical attack April, 7, 2018.

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.

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The assessment notes eight chlorine attacks ahead of the "major attack" on Douma and 44 allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria over the past year.

Continuing: "This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as United States defence secretary James Mattis has admitted, an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely".

In a press conference this morning, Mrs May said: "We are confident of success".

The Prime Minister had also been speaking to US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron over the past week to form a response to the alleged chemical attack by President Assad's regime of civilians last week. SNP leader at Westminster Ian Blackford said: "There is no mandate for the Government to take this action".

Brexit Secretary David Davis said: "It is a very, very delicate circumstance and we've got to make this judgment on a very careful, very deliberate, very well thought-through basis, knowing exactly. how strong the evidence is".

May said intelligence and open source accounts indicated that the Syrian government was behind the attack in Douma last Saturday.

Kremlin-backed news agency Tass reported a Moscow official saying Russian military police would be deployed to the city to maintain law and order.

"We have been working to establish what has happened and everything indicates a chemical weapons attack".

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