Tories may call for vote to bomb Syrian govt facilities if they win general election
The prime minister reportedly believes another vote is required before the UK can join the US in the event of another chemical incident.The issue of chemical weapons could help swing a vote in favor of bombing Syrian Army positions, the Guardian reports.
David Cameron’s government lost a similar vote in 2013 after an alleged chemical attack in Ghouta.
Bashar Assad’s regime is alleged to have used chemical weapons in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikoun on April 4.
Both Syria and its ally Russia deny the claim, arguing that a conventional bomb hit a rebel-controlled chemical weapons depot.
The incident, which has not yet been fully investigated, led US President Donald Trump to launch a cruise missile attack against a regime air base.
Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) is already striking Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets in Iraq.
It extended airstrikes into Syria following a parliamentary vote in December 2015.
It is yet to launch airstrikes against the Assad regime, however.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has publically called for Britain to join US strikes.
His comments, however, were talked down by PM May, who said there were no plans to do so.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said such a move would be rash and do nothing to end the Syrian civil war. He said he would look to bring all parties back to the negotiating table.
In a statement, Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said rumors that May is considering airstrikes offer the perfect reason to “vote to get her out.”
“The briefings on Syria show that Theresa May and her advisors have learnt nothing from the last sixteen years of Britain's disastrous foreign wars,” said German.
“Stop the War is urging people to vote no to war in the coming general election and will continue to campaign strongly against British involvement in yet another doomed and damaging foreign adventure.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron urged May to use the UN and a wider diplomatic strategy rather than resort to knee-jerk bombing raids.
“May would be wise not to use Syria as a campaign tool in this election. This would come across as calculating, unconsidered, and without the best interest of the Syrian people at heart,” he said.
Green Party joint leader Caroline Lucas said: “People deserve a say on foreign policy and any attempt to wait until after the election to signal intentions in Syria is simply wrong.”