Despite Donald Trump’s slightly more circumspect rhetoric over Syria on Thursday it is hard to escape the drum beat for military intervention.
The Times claims the largest US air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war is heading towards Syria.
The Times of London (@thetimes)
Tomorrow’s front page: Biggest task force since Iraq on course for Syria #tomorrowspapertoday pic.twitter.com/jeZBmfzu6B
April 12, 2018
Last night the UK cabinet unanimously backed Theresa May’s warning that Syria’s use of chemical weapons could not go unchallenged, leaving the way open for British participation in military action.
Downing Street said senior ministers had agreed it was highly likely the Syrian government was responsible for the “shocking and barbaric” gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma, which killed up to 75 people.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the government of “waiting for instructions” from Donald Trump adding that military intervention risks “escalating an already devastating conflict”.
In a statement issue early on Friday morning he called for a UN-led investigation of the chemical weapons attack in Douma.
“Further UK military intervention in Syria’s appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict.
“The Government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed. But the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.
“Even US defence secretary James Mattis has said we ‘don’t have evidence’ and warned further military action could ‘escalate out of control’.”
Meanwhile, Russia has been granted a request for the United Nations Security Council to meet on Friday for fresh discussions on the threat to international peace from air strikes on Syria.
And a team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is due to start its investigation in Syria on Saturday.
On Friday campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition will hand in a letter signed by MPs, trade unionists, celebrities and academics to Downing Street urging May to not take military action in Syria.