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Opposition leader slams United Kingdom premier over Syria strikes

Opposition leader slams United Kingdom premier over Syria strikes

The rush to action following an alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma on April 7 was condemned by several British opposition parties who wanted parliament recalled.

Although the British government on Saturday defended its decision to join the USA -led military strikes on Syria without consulting Parliament first, British opinion leaders immediately questioned about the Whitehall's legal justification of such a military action.

Other opposition leaders joined in the criticism.

"While this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity", May said.

However, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a fervent anti-war campaigner, called the strikes "legally questionable" and said May should have recalled parliament from recess and "not trailed after Donald Trump".

"This is the first time as prime minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly".

Meanwhile, Britain's main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the US -led military strikes on Syria jointly staged by three leading Western countries as a "legally questionable action", saying that the British government should "not taking instructions from Washington". "Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm's way".

Mr Trump said the military action was a "combined operation" with the armed forces of the United Kingdom and France.

But they backed action in Iraq the following year, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes to targets of the Islamic State group.

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But after the Conservatives entered office in 2010, the government suggested that since the 2003 vote on the war in Iraq, a convention had emerged that MPs should have a say, except in cases of emergency.

But her move to add British Tornado jets to USA and French forces that launched around 105 missiles in the early hours of Saturday might be met with retaliatory measures by Syrian ally Russian Federation and breaks with a convention to obtain parliamentary approval for military action dating back to the 2003 Iraq war. The strikes at 0100 GMT were 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Homs.

Britain's Ministry of Defence said the strike against Syria on Saturday had been aimed at a military facility where the Syrian government was assessed to have stockpiled chemicals.

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

Shortly after the military strikes were launched, Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon said United Kingdom foreign policy should be set by Parliament and not Donald Trump after the U.S., United Kingdom and France bombed targets in Syria.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the airstrikes were "limited but proportionate and justified".

Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chairman of parliament's foreign affairs scrutiny committee and a former army officer, said May had "taken the correct decision".

"We can not tolerate the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons", he said in a statement.

"There must be urgent confirmation from the prime minister that there will be no further action. without a full parliamentary debate".


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