May ready to approve military action over Syria attack

  • May ready to approve military action over Syria attack

May ready to approve military action over Syria attack

The United States accused the Syrian government on Friday of using banned chemical arms at least 50 times since Syria's civil war began seven years ago - far higher than the number of attacks that had been publicly confirmed. British officials said up to 75 people were killed.

It said there had been agreement that such actions should not go "unchallenged" and that the United Kingdom would continue to work with the USA and France to co-ordinate an worldwide response.

May spoke with President Trump on Thursday night about the global response to Syria, and they "agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of risky behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", according to the Downing Street.

Mattis' remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing followed a series of Trump tweets this week that initially indicated he was committed to bombing Syria but later suggested he was awaiting further advice and assessment.

Russia's United Nations ambassador warned the priority in Syria was to avert US-led strikes that could lead to a confrontation between the world's two preeminent nuclear powers.

The use of chemical weapons is a war crime. Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told NBC News on Thursday the administration has "enough proof" of the chemical attack but is still considering its response.

"There has been no decision to take military action at this point".

"Japan can not make a judgment on whether Assad's government forces really used chemical weapons", a senior Foreign Ministry official said of the latest attack. Asked if France is planning to participate in retaliatory attacks on Syria, he was noncommittal.

Some MPs have backed Britain acting against Syria, warning that the use of chemical weapons was in breach of global law and could not be allowed to go unpunished.

Asked about the risks of USA military retaliation, Mattis cited two concerns, starting with avoiding civilian casualties.

May told her senior ministers on Thursday that the attack in Douma showed a "deeply concerning" erosion of worldwide legal norms barring the use of chemical weapons.

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a USA strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress. "We need to know where that's going, what the objective of it is before we take that act".

Assad's main ally Russian Federation has repeatedly issued warnings to the United States that it will shoot back at missiles, warships and jets if they strike against Syria, bringing the USA and Russian Federation into direct conflict for the first time.

"I think it is important to have a common line, without Germany participating militarily", Merkel said.