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Fri, 14 August 2020

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Theresa May warns Assad as she says 'all indications are' Syrian regime carried out chemical attack

Theresa May warns Assad as she says 'all indications are' Syrian regime carried out chemical attack
2 min read

Theresa May has paved the way for military action in Syria as she said "all the indications are" that the Assad regime was behind the chemical attack which killed dozens of civilians in the country.

In a significant hardening of the Government's position, the Prime Minister said the UK and its allies were "rapidly" coming to the conclusion that the Syrian regime ordered the attack on the rebel-held city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.

Her comments came after Donald Trump warned Russia - which supports the Assad regime - that US missiles "will be coming" to Syria in the wake of the attack.

The Syrian government has denied any involvement, while last night Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution authorising an independent investigation into what happened.

Mrs May said Saturday's attack was "a shocking and barbaric act",

"We are working with our allies, we have been working to get an understanding of what happened on the ground," she said.

"We are rapidly reaching that understanding. All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible and we will be working with our closest allies on how we can ensure that those who are responsible are held to account and how we can prevent and deter the humanitarian catastrophe that comes from the use of chemical weapons in the future.

"The continued use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged."

Mrs May would not be drawn on whether she would recall parliament in order to seek MPs' approval for military action, as demanded by Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP.

The Labour leader said he wanted to see a political solution to the crisis rather than a military one.

He said: "What we don’t want is bombardment which leads to escalation and leads to a hot war between Russia and America over the skies of Syria.

"So what I’m saying is listen to what the UN says, listen to what the UN general secretary says, undertake the inquiry into the source and usage of the chemical weapons.

"But, above all, get every country including the US and Russia, as well as the neighbouring states, around the table in Geneva to being about a political solution."

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