Monday, 21 May, 2018

Theresa May's Statement on the Syria Strike

May also alluded to a nerve agent attack in Britain last month on a former Russian spy and his daughterMore May also alluded to a nerve agent attack in Britain last month on a former Russian spy and his daughterMore
Sammy Stanley | 14 April, 2018, 23:42

Mr Trump said the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons on Douma was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime". "This must be stopped".

The strikes began at 2am BST and destroyed important infrastructure at three sites connected to the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme, according to the allies.

"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.

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.

French president Emmanuel Macron said: Our response has been limited to the capabilities of the Syrian regime relating to the production and use of chemical weapons.

Making a reference to Russia, which has been supporting the Syrian regime, Theresa May indicated that the strikes were also intended as a message to Moscow over its own use of a deadly nerve agent against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last month.

Mrs May drew a link with the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, telling a news conference: We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

The Prime Minister explained: "I have taken this decision because I believe it is the right thing to do".

"Nobody should doubt British resolve", she added.

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".

"I think it is right that the global community has come together and said we will not accept this", she added.

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Britain joined U.S. and French forces to take "co-ordinated and targeted strikes" against the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capabilities.

There are now reports of Russian jets patrolling Syrian airspace, having taken back control of the area.

The airstrikes on Syria were carried out in a joint operation between the UK, US and France.

Syrian state media reported 13 missiles were shot down by anti-air defences.

Theresa May will address Parliament on Monday.

"This collective action sends a clear message that the worldwide community will not stand by and tolerate the use of chemical weapons", May said at a press conference, calling the military action "right and legal".

"Training exercises were clearly already under way at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus in preparation for a possible counterattack by the Russians", says The Guardian.

Putin's foreign ministry has branded the attacks a "tremendous blow to the negotiation process". The UK asserts that the action is not about interfering in a civil war or about regime change.

"We are reassured that the military action is strictly targeted and limited in its goal".

May said that due to "operational security reasons" it had been "right and legal" to take the action in the way that the US, France and Britain had. This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as U.S. 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.

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