Britain had no choice but to conduct air strikes, Theresa May says

Britain had no choice but to conduct air strikes, Theresa May says

Britain had no choice but to conduct air strikes, Theresa May says

The strikes, in collaboration with the United States and France, are in response to an alleged chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last week.

The shadow of the 2003 invasion of Iraq still lingers in the corridors of Britain's parliament, when MPs backed then-prime minister Tony Blair in joining U.S. military action.

"We are confident in our own assessment that the Syrian regime was highly likely responsible for this attack and that its persistent pattern of behaviour meant that it was highly likely to continue using chemical weapons", Mrs May will add.

The Western missile strikes demonstrate 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.

The US president announced the joint operation in a national address on Friday evening, saying the strikes would target the regime's ability to use chemical weapons.

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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".

"This is the first time as prime minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly", she said.

Britain's defense ministry said "very careful scientific analysis" had been applied to maximize the destruction of stockpiled chemicals while minimizing any risk of contamination to surrounding areas.

Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia and European Council president Donald Tusk have "all expressed their support for the actions that Britain, France and America have taken", the PM will add. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the strike as "limited and targeted".

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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.

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

"Bombing can not substitute for diplomacy", he said.

The UK has begun air strikes against Syrian chemical weapons sites.

He reiterated that Canada condemns the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta.

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Parly said some of the strikes had targeted two sites used by Bashar al-Assad's regime to store and assemble chemical weapons near the Syrian city of Homs.

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