British PM May defends Syria strikes against parliament critics


"The three leaders agreed that the military strikes taken against the Syrian Regime's chemical weapons sites had been a success", a No 10 spokesman said.

Speaking in Downing Street after Friday night's military action against Bashar al Assad's regime, the Prime Minister said the strikes had been limited in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma last weekend.

Wes Streeting, also from Labour, noted the demonstration against the military strikes taking place outside parliament, organised by the Stop the War campaign group.

United Kingdom prime ministers do not legally need to consult Parliament before launching military action, although they have done so since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It returns from its break on Monday, when May will face MPs' questions on the strikes.

May will make a statement on the action to the House of Commons on Monday, but opposition lawmakers have lined up to call for a more meaningful debate and a possible retrospective vote on the action, which would severely test her position.

It said they all agreed with her on "the importance of restoring the global norm that the use of chemical weapons is never acceptable".

Any vote would be "largely symbolic" and would mainly just acknowledge that Parliament has had its say rather than give MPs the chance to formally approve or reject the air strikes themselves.

But she avoided answering questions on her future strategy for Syria, on whether parliament would be consulted on any further strikes and ignored demands by Corbyn for a War Powers Act to limit the government's power to launch military action.

But she still has to tread carefully in parliament, where she now relies on a small Northern Irish party to get enough votes to pass legislation, and has tried to appease lawmakers, angry over being sidelined, by offering time to discuss Syria.

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.

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The SNP has told Sky News it would support the act. This, according to May, justified the need to act quickly and without parliamentary consent.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said sidelining parliament was "a serious mistake", while leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas accused May of timing the strikes to "avoid a debate in parliament", which she described as "outrageous".

Mr Corbyn, who has warned of an escalation in a "proxy war" between the U.S. and Russian Federation, said he would only consider backing intervention in Syria with the support of the United Nations.

"You have to actually be using urgent, necessary and proportionate force".

"That surely would save a lot of lives".

And Mr Johnson defended the strikes in his appearance on the Marr show, stressing the "limits" of what the United Kingdom was seeking to achieve.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Defence said eight Storm Shadow missiles had been launched by four RAF Tornados at a former missile base, 15 miles west of Homs.

It said the Syrian regime has been using chemical weapons since 2013, killing almost 1,000 civilians and injuring hundreds more which constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity.

The MoD added the facility was located "some distance" from "concentrations of civilian habitation", and the risk of contamination to the surrounding area had been minimised.

When asked what would happen in the event of further chemical attacks, May said she would be willing to order further airstrikes against Syria, refusing to commit to consulting parliament beforehand.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council rejected a resolution drafted by Russian Federation, while all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have given the military action their full support.

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