United Kingdom agrees on 'need to take action' over Syria

UK Ministers

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.

May spoke with US President Trump Thursday night about the worldwide response to Syria, and they "agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of risky behavior in relation to the use of chemical weapons", according to a Downing Street statement.

Trump is considering his military options in Syria after Saturday's alleged chemical attack against the rebel-held town of Douma.

"The Prime Minister said it was a further example of the erosion of global law in relation to the use of chemical weapons, which was deeply concerning to us all".

In the call, the two leaders had agreed that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "had established a pattern of risky behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", Downing Street said. Britain would work with United States and France to coordinate an worldwide response, the statement said.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons tweeted Thursday that a team of its investigators will start work Saturday in Douma.

The BBC said May was ready to give the go-ahead for Britain to take part in action led by the United States without seeking prior approval from parliament.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place". "All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible".

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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.

The statement made no reference to whether Parliament would be given a say on military action - prompting renewed concerns among opposition parties and some Tory MPs that Mrs May is prepared to go ahead without a Commons vote.

"Just imagine the scenario if an American missile shoots down a Russian plane, or vice-a-versa - where do we go from there?" British media reported Wednesday that May has also ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria.

A YouGov poll in The Times conducted this week found that 43 percent of voters oppose strikes in Syria, with 34 percent unsure and only 22 percent supportive.

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.

The war plans of British leaders have been complicated in recent years by the memory of Britain's 2003 decision to invade Iraq after asserting - wrongly, as it later turned out - that President Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

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