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Theresa May faces grilling from MPs after launching airstrikes in Syria

17 April 2018

Opinion polls suggest that most Britons do not support military action, with one by Survation taken after the strikes were launched showing 40 percent of the 2,060 people asked opposed the action.

Although MPs may call for a substantive parliamentary vote on the action, the debate will only be accompanied by a neutral motion, such as "that the House has considered the matter of military action taken on 14 April".

Britain's prime minister has defended UK's decision to launch coordinated strikes with American and French forces, in an attempt to "further prevent the use of chemical weapons" in Syria.

Mr Johnson, speaking at a summit of European Union foreign ministers, stressed it was "not an attempt to change the tide of the war in Syria or to have regime change" and "the Syrian war in many ways will go on in its awful, miserable way".

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were an "act of aggression" that would have a "destructive" influence on global relations. "And you have to do it with the will of the world behind you". I think everyone is going to feel it at this point.

"They are in government. And that to me is not a good enough reason".

Mr Corbyn will also call for a War Powers Act which would oblige prime ministers to consult Parliament in the future before committing forces into the field of action. She said speed was essential and that military action was in the national interest.

Whitehall sources have confirmed a 20-fold increase in "disinformation" spread by Kremlin-linked social media "bot" accounts since the strikes, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain had a duty to show that Syria had not "got away with it" and it was standing up against Assad's "barbarism".

Some backbenchers were more sceptical about May's decision, including the Labour MP Laura Pidcock, who asked whether further United Kingdom strikes could take place, and Caroline Lucas, the Green co-leader, who said worldwide inspectors should have been asked to examine the suspected chemical weapons sites attacked on Saturday.

Saying she had no doubt the "Syrian regime" was behind the April 7 gas attack which she called a "stain on humanity", May told lawmakers she had acted in the national interest.

Philippe told lawmakers that France's "riposte" was "proportionate" and sent a strong, clear message to dissuade Syria's government from using chemical weapons.

Another Labour MP, Hilary Benn, asked for an assurance from May that if there was a further chemical weapons attack in Syria, "she will come to parliament first, she will share such evidence as she can with us as she has today, and that she will trust parliament to decide what is to be done".

Since 2013 neither diplomatic action, tough sanctions, nor the United States strikes against the Shayrat airbase in April 2017 have sufficiently degraded Syrian chemical weapons capability or deterred the Syrian regime from causing extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale through its persistent use of chemical weapons, it said.

The speed with which we are acting is essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations.

Four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s joined the co-ordinated missile strikes at 2am on Saturday, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a base 15 miles west of Homs.

He said the joint action of the U.S., Britain and France was aimed at placing a prohibitive cost on the use of chemical weapons and degrading Assad's ability to use them.

Theresa May faces grilling from MPs after launching airstrikes in Syria