UK PM May says British forces conduct targeted strike against Syria

Fighter jets were seen taking off from a British Royal Air Force base in Cyprus early on Saturday

May said intelligence and open source accounts indicated that the Syrian government was behind the attack in Douma last Saturday.

May said the missile strike was created to minimize any civilian casualties and was not an attempt to change the Syrian government.

May has repeatedly said that the missile strike on Syria was not about "regime change".

The PM has not ruled out fresh action if Bashar Assad's regime continues to attack its own people.

"There is a wider question on the future political solution for Syria and that is a matter that we will continue to pursue in diplomatic and political channels with our global partners and allies", May said.

"It is not about regime change", May said in a statement.

The Western missile strikes demonstrate the volatile nature of the Syrian civil war, which started in March 2011 as an anti-Assad uprising but is now a proxy conflict involving a number of world and regional powers and a myriad of insurgent groups.

This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime.

In a statement to the Commons, she will also set out her justification for the decision - arguing that it was done to alleviate further humanitarian suffering in Syria caused by chemical weapons attacks.

"Very careful scientific analysis was applied to determine where best to target the Storm Shadows to maximise the destruction of the stockpiled chemicals and to minimise any risks of contamination to the surrounding area", the ministry said.


But she also drew a link with the nerve agent attack on Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

May said she would address parliament on Monday about the strikes.

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest", she added.

Polls in recent days have shown public wariness of military intervention in Syria, with Britain still haunted by its participation in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Theresa May will pre-empt planned opposition motions by applying to the Speaker for a debate herself "to give the House an extended opportunity to discuss the military action".

Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said Parliament should have been given a vote ahead of the strikes.

"Bombing can not substitute for diplomacy", he said.

She added: "We agreed that is was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies".

He reiterated that Canada condemns the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta.

The air strikes, carried out by the US, UK and French military, targeted three separate targets in Syria linked to the Assad regime's chemical weapons program.

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