UK's air strikes on Syria can not be viewed as humanitarian intervention

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UK's air strikes on Syria can not be viewed as humanitarian intervention

DUP MP Nigel Doods, reacting to the air strikes, said: "First and foremost we salute the courage of our courageous servicemen and women".

"The overwhelming why this was the right thing to do, and that is to deter the use of chemical weapons - not just by the Assad regime - but around the world", Mr Johnson said.

Britain's defense ministry said initial indications were that the precision weapons and meticulous target planning had "resulted in a successful attack". "It is not about regime change", May said in a statement. The French military on Saturday targeted Syria's main chemicals research centre as well as two other facilities, hours after President Emmanuel Macron ordered a military intervention in Syria alongside the United States and Britain in an attack on the chemical weapons arsenal.

Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the military action was "legal" and defended the decision to go ahead without securing the backing of Parliament.

But May said intelligence pointed to the Syrian government being behind the suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma last Saturday, and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said speed was "essential".

Russia, which intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad, has denied there was a chemical attack and has accused Britain of helping to stage the Douma incident to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

Much of the criticism will come from opposition lawmakers, but the prime minister may also have to work hard to defend her speed of action to members of her own Conservative Party who had wanted parliament recalled.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said Britain should press for an independent United Nations -led investigation into the suspected chemical attack in Douma rather than wait for instructions from Trump on how to proceed.

Correspondents from the British and world press also asked the prime minister to explain what role can the Parliament play in making a decision to attack another sovereign country.

"It was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies to alleviate further humanitarian suffering by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability", May said. "The opposition does not operate helicopters or use barrel bombs".

On Friday night the US, Britain and France launched air strikes against Syrian chemical sites after obtaining "proof" that poisonous gas was used last weekend in Douma, killing 41 civilians.

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