World

Syria attack 'very soon or not so soon at all!'

Syria attack 'very soon or not so soon at all!'

Opposition leaders have demanded a parliamentary vote before any new military action in Syria as Theresa May called an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the growing worldwide crisis.

What seems to be delaying that decision is the fear a strike could spark a much bigger war than anyone wants.

SNP leader at Westminster Ian Blackford told the BBC: "There is no mandate for the Government to take this action".

The worry of Russian retaliation is real and there still appears to be an idea to punish Syria.

The Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis has made it clear he has significant concerns over the unforeseen consequences of a strike on Syria.

"Britain should press for an independent United Nations -led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account". Trump wrote in a Thursday morning tweet that an attack could happen "very soon or not so soon at all".

Trump has consulted with USA allies, particularly France and the United Kingdom, about a coordinated response to the suspected chemical attack, but officials say they have not reached a firm agreement on scale or timing.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said no decision had been taken to launch strikes and stressed Washington was taking time to assess the implications of possible military action after Russia warned it could lead to a risky US-Russian war.

In Syria, French warplanes carried out 23 sorties in late March and early April but fired no strikes, as part of support for Syrian opposition forces fighting in the last pockets of IS control.

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"But should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defense of a principle on which we all agree". US officials have been consulting with France, Britain and other allies on a possible joint military operation, but the timing remained in doubt Wednesday.

The ministers said there was a need to "deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", and alleviate the humanitarian situation, a Downing Street statement said.

The U.S., France and Britain have been consulting about launching a military strike.

But after being criticized for apparently telegraphing U.S. intentions, Trump on Thursday attempted to blur the timing of any potential airstrikes on Syria.

"France will shoulder its responsibility to end an intolerable threat to our collective security", he added, before calling for an end to the "chemical weapons escalation in Syria".

Trump has claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration has used chemical weapons.

But the pinpoint strike did not deter Assad and U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have since investigated as many as 10 suspected chemical attacks.

Syrian opposition activists and rescuers said poison gas was used on the rebel-held town near the capital, an allegation strongly denied by the Assad government.

"The chemical weapons attack that took place on Saturday in Douma in Syria was a shocking and barbaric act", May told reporters on Wednesday.


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