Japan to avoid direct support for USA strike on Syria

Aaron Brown
April 16, 2018

The U.S. has obtained blood and urine samples from a suspected chemical attack in Syria that have tested positive for both an unidentified nerve agent and chlorine gas exposure, according to a report published Thursday.

Trump discussed the Syria situation with his national security team at the White House on Thursday.

Officials also said that the USA has compiled intelligence from the US and other countries, including images, that indicate the Syrian government was behind the weekend attack.

The U.S., France and Britain have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said.

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, was convening a meeting of her Cabinet on Thursday afternoon, at which she is expected to make the case for supporting the U.S. in any military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But on Thursday, Trump tweeted: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

A joint military operation, possibly with France rather than the U.S.in the lead, could send a message of global unity about enforcing the prohibitions on chemical weapons and counter Syria's political and military support from Russian Federation and Iran.

The use of chemical weapons is a war crime. Asked if France is planning to participate in retaliatory attacks on Syria, he was noncommittal. The Syrian government has denied the allegations.

"You are a minority Government, and you need to seek the consent of Parliament before you commit the United Kingdom to any action". "Not to react is to prove to the rest of the world that what we say does not matter".

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Outlining the reasons why he voted against, he said: "One was because he (Mr Cameron) hadn't provided the evidence and intelligence that we knew who it was, and secondly because there was not a proper plan which was thought through properly".

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said parliament should be consulted before May approved military action.

Trump has consulted with USA allies, particularly France and the United Kingdom, about a coordinated response to the suspected chemical attack, but officials say they have not reached a firm agreement on scale or timing.

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.

May is not obliged to win parliament's approval, but a non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been established since a 2003 vote on joining the US -led invasion of Iraq. France is already involved in the USA -led coalition created in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

A UN-led panel has determined that Assad's forces had used sarin in the town of Khan Sheikhun last yaer and chlorine in at least three attacks on villages in 2014 and 2015.

But British involvement in further military intervention is controversial at home, in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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