British PM recall ministers for emergency meeting, weighs Syria action

British PM recall ministers for emergency meeting, weighs Syria action

Mrs May later spoke to US President Donald Trump during a telephone call, in which Number 10 said the two leaders agreed "it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime".

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that the country had "proof" the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma and would support any United States action.

British lawmakers voted down taking military action against Damascus in 2013, in what was widely viewed as an assertion of parliamentary sovereignty on the use of force.

The mission was only allowed after approval by MPs - they backed military action in Iraq in September 2014, and in Syria a year later, strictly limiting strikes to IS targets.

Despite having declared on Monday he would make "major decisions" on a United States response to the Douma attack within 48 hours, Mr Trump has now downplayed the prospect of immediate action.

Saturday's suspected chemical attack killed up to 75 people, including children, and injured hundreds.

Earlier on Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned the West against attacking Syria, saying accusations about the suspected chemical attack on Douma were "fabricated".

'Cabinet agreed the Prime Minister should continue to work with allies in the United States and France to coordinate an worldwide response, ' the statement added.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier on Wednesday warned Russian Federation of imminent military action in Syria and he lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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However, former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers told Sky News there was no need for Parliament to have a say as the decision "rests with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet".

"Surely the lessons of Iraq, the lessons that came there from the Chilcott Report, are that there's got to be, there has to be, a proper process of consultation".

"They should have a voice in this".

"Just imagine the scenario if an American missile shoots down a Russian plane, or vice-a-versa - where do we go from there?" Where do we go from there?'

It also suggested the Prime Minister is set to defy calls from opposition parties for Parliament to be recalled in order for MPs to vote on authorising intervention.

"The position is a very unsafe one because of Russian involvement, also because we have an erratic president of the United States".

Brexit Secretary David Davis said: "It is a very, very delicate circumstance and we've got to make this judgment on a very careful, very deliberate, very well thought-through basis, knowing exactly. how strong the evidence is".

May called an emergency meeting of her cabinet for Thursday afternoon to discuss Syria, and The Telegraph newspaper reported that the prime minister has already ordered British submarines to move within missile range of the country. "I refer you to the White House to characterise the president's tweet", a Pentagon spokesman said.

"The chemical weapons attack that took place on Saturday in Douma in Syria was a shocking and barbaric act", May told reporters in the central English city of Birmingham. Inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, are due to investigate the incident.