Theresa May summons war cabinet over Syria response

UK PM Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May summoned her ‘war cabinet’ Thursday morning to discuss possible military intervention in Syria over a suspected chemical attack which killed dozens.

The cabinet is expected to support May to join a possible military action by the U.S. and its allies against the Syrian regime without seeking a parliamentary approval.

Bashar al-Assad regime forces struck targets in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma district on Saturday midnight using a poisonous gas which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to the White Helmets, a local civil defense agency.

The latest events in Douma are examples of the Assad regime’s “violation of international norms”, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday.

British and French foreign ministers have condemned the use of chemical weapons by anyone and anywhere, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement said Monday.

The condemnation by the U.K. and France followed earlier worldwide reaction to the attack in Douma.

However, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged the government to seek the parliament’s consent.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair on the other hand defends such a military move without parliamentary consent.

He said on Tuesday the U.K. “will have to” back any military intervention in Syria or give “carte blanche” for any further use of chemical weapons.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 which called for a month-long cease-fire in Syria, especially in Eastern Ghouta to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the resolution, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive backed by Russian air power aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of Eastern Ghouta.

Home to some 400,000 people, the suburb has remained the target of a crippling regime siege for the last five years.

Earlier this month, a UN commission of inquiry released a report accusing the regime of committing war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.