UK PM May: British forces conduct targeted strike against Syria

UK Ministers

UK PM May: British forces conduct targeted strike against Syria

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Saturday that the United Kingdom is clear that the Assad regime is responsible for Douma chemical attack and confirmed United Kingdom hit a specific and limited set of targets in Syria.

In a related development, Middle East carrier Kuwait Airways said it would resume all flights to Beirut on Sunday after a three-day suspension due to warnings about flying close to Lebanese airspace.

The United States is preparing to impose sanctions on Russian Federation for "covering up" the actions of the Assad regime.

May said the missile strike was created to minimize any civilian casualties and was not an attempt to change the Syrian government. It is not about regime change.

Britain's defense ministry said initial indications were that the precision weapons and meticulous target planning had "resulted in a successful attack".

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Syria's use of chemical weapons could not be tolerated but questioned whether the strikes would halt their use or contribute to ending the civil war.

"It is in our national interest to prevent the further use of chemical weapons in Syria - and to uphold and defend the global consensus that these weapons should not be used".

"Very careful scientific analysis was applied to determine where best to target the Storm Shadows to maximise the destruction of the stockpiled chemicals and to minimise any risks of contamination to the surrounding area", the ministry said.

"The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk", the MoD said in a statement.

But shadow attorney general Baroness Chakrabarti questioned the Government's justification for the air strikes, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "You can't use force under worldwide law just to punish Syria for bad behaviour".

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Despite her careful language, there was immediate criticism from opposition lawmakers who said May should have consulted parliament before joining US-led action in Syria.

He also did not rule out future military action.

May said intelligence and open source accounts indicated that the Syrian government was behind the attack in Douma last Saturday.

Former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband, now head of humanitarian relief group the International Rescue Committee, said military action needed to be part of a wider political strategy.

"And we can not wait to alleviate further humanitarian suffering caused by chemical weapons attacks".

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Donald Trump has announced that a coalition of America, Britain and France have begun airstrikes against the Syrian regime to punish its chemical attack that killed more than 70 people.

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