British jets join attack on Syria to punish Assad

Air raid sirens and Syrian and Russian air defence systems were reported to be firing at incoming missiles tonight, as

Air raid sirens and Syrian and Russian air defence systems were reported to be firing at incoming missiles tonight, as

Trump and May spoke after May's senior ministers gave her their backing to take unspecified action with the United States and France to tackle the use of chemical weapons by the government of Syria's President Bashar Assad.

Vincent Cable, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat party, said that while his party did not rule out supporting military strikes, parliamentary approval was essential for any action to be taken.

U.S., British, and French forces launched air strikes against targets in Syria in the first coordinated Western military action against the Damascus regime. "Cabinet agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", the Downing Street said in a statement.

May will face questions from MPs on Monday, when parliament reconvenes after a break.

It added that it believed the Syrian government had committed a "war crime and a crime against humanity" with chemical weapons use and that attempts to find a unified worldwide approach through the United Nations had been blocked by Damascus-ally Moscow.

"The continued use of chemical weapons can not go unchallenged".

Both Syria, which denies any chemical use, and Russian Federation, which provides military support to the Syrian government, have reacted angrily to the action.

Theresa May's Cabinet has agreed Britain needs to take action on the Syrian regime.

May spoke with US President Trump Thursday night about the worldwide response to Syria, and they "agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of unsafe behavior in relation to the use of chemical weapons", according to a Downing Street statement.

It said initial indications were that the precision weapons and meticulous target planning had "resulted in a successful attack".

British Prime Minister Theresa May's senior ministers agreed on the need for action at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, but Downing Street did not specify what measures the United Kingdom would take.

"For we can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere".

Mrs May said chemical weapons had "all too often" been used in recent times.

May added Britain and its allies had sought to use every diplomatic means to stop the use of chemical weapons, but had been repeatedly thwarted, citing a Russian veto of an independent investigation into the Douma attack at the U.N. Security Council this week.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, had on Friday accused the government of "waiting for instructions" from US President Donald Trump on what to do over Syria.

But rival politicians and some Conservative colleagues have called for a parliamentary vote before any British involvement.

British opposition lawmakers are calling for Parliament to be given a vote before any military action.

"Any possible action will only cause more instability in the region and threaten global security and peace", Syrian state TV quoted Assad as saying at a meeting Thursday with a high-level Iranian delegation in Damascus.

May isn't legally required to do that, though it has become conventional since the 2003 invasion of Iraq for lawmakers to be given the chance to vote before British forces are deployed.

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.

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