Theresa May faces Parliament over Syria strikes

Fighter jets were seen taking off from a British Royal Air Force base in Cyprus early on Saturday

Fighter jets were seen taking off from a British Royal Air Force base in Cyprus early on Saturday Credit AP

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Saturday that the United Kingdom is clear that the Assad regime is responsible for Douma chemical attack and confirmed United Kingdom hit a specific and limited set of targets in Syria.

She declined to say whether Bashar al-Assad should stay in power and said talks with allies would continue on finding a political solution to the civil war.

Speaking from the White House on Friday, president Donald Trump announced the military action, and said its intention was to degrade Syrian chemical weapons capabilities.

"This action risks not just further escalating the civil war in Syria but also a unsafe escalation of worldwide tensions", said the leader of the left-wing Scottish National Party, the third-biggest force in the British parliament.

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

"The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk", the MoD said in a statement.

"It was right to take the action that we have done in the timing that we have done", she said.

In her comments, May also alluded to a nerve agent attack in Britain last month on a former Russian spy and his daughter.

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"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest", she added.

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.

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

A YouGov poll for The Times newspaper this week indicated that only a fifth of voters believed that Britain should launch attacks on Syrian military targets and more than two-fifths opposed action.

The Prime Minister will tell MPs on Monday that the strikes were in the national interest because the use of chemical weapons can not be normalised, including in the UK.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", the USA president said in a televised address.

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

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