Trump puts off Syria strike decision, will talk to allies

Trump puts off Syria strike decision, will talk to allies

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it is "vital that parliament has the chance to debate and decide in advance" of any military action, which he warned "risks a unsafe escalation of the conflict".

According to the sources, the specific response being considered in the event of US military action against Syria is Japan's "support for the USA resolve to fulfill its responsibility to prevent the use of chemical weapons". That meant airstrikes, possibly in tandem with France and other allies that have expressed outrage at the alleged Syrian chemical attack, could be launched within hours of a presidential decision.

His French counterpart Emmanuel Macron said he was in daily contact with Trump, stating France has evidence that Assad's regime was behind the attack.

President Donald Trump said Thursday that an attack on Syria could take place "very soon or not so soon at all", arguing he had never signaled the timing of retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack that he had suggested was imminent a day earlier.

Citing US estimates that Assad has used chemical weapons "at least 50 times" in the seven-year war, Haley said: "All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons".

But a special hotline for the U.S. and Russian militaries to communicate about operations in Syria is active and being used by both sides, Moscow said Thursday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's senior ministers agreed on the need for action at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, but Downing Street did not specify what measures the United Kingdom would take, reports CNN.

Theresa May received unanimous cabinet backing for United Kingdom military action against Syrian regime targets after senior ministers were briefed by Sir Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser, on the intelligence case pointing to President Assad's culpability for the Douma attack.




But rival politicians and some Conservative colleagues have called for a parliamentary vote before any British involvement. Downing Street spokesmen repeatedly declined to comment on that report.

It has been observed in subsequent military deployments in Libya and Iraq and many British lawmakers and voters are deeply sceptical of deepening involvement in the Syrian civil war.

A separate YouGov survey on Thursday found 61 percent of people think it would be necessary for parliament to vote on military action against Syria, with just 18 percent saying it was not necessary and 21 percent undecided.

Formally, the prime minister has the right to go to war without approval from parliament, but a convention has been established in previous conflicts where MPs have a vote either before or shortly after military action begins.

Britain has been launching air strikes in Syria from its military base in Cyprus, but only against targets linked to the Islamic State militant group.

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.

Although Mattis noted the risks of military action, he emphasized that Syria's use of chemical weapons should not be tolerated.

"But on a strategic level, it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control - if you get my drift on that", Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee Thursday morning.

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