Theresa May: Syria air strikes carried out to alleviate further suffering

Britain had no choice but to conduct missile strikes against Syria PM May

The PM will say that United Nations Security Council-mandated inspectors have probed previous attacks and decided Bashar Assad's regime was responsible four times. President Donald Trump also ordered strikes about the same time a year ago, also in response to reported chemical weapon usage.

May reiterated that Britain made use of every possible diplomatic means to stop the use of chemical weapons, but there was no response and "so there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime".

The Western missile strikes demonstrate the volatile nature of the Syrian civil war, which started in March 2011 as an anti-Assad uprising but is now a proxy conflict involving a number of world and regional powers and a myriad of insurgent groups. One airbase the USA fired at was back in use the next day.

Britain's defense ministry said "very careful scientific analysis" had been applied to maximize the destruction of stockpiled chemicals while minimizing any risk of contamination to surrounding areas.

"And the world said "enough" to the use of such weapons".

But she also drew a link with the nerve agent attack on Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

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"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

The UK has begun air strikes against Syrian chemical weapons sites.

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

Even supporters of the strike said the decision could be on shaky legal ground because the president's authority under the Authority for Use of Military Force has not been updated since 2001.

"This debate is an opportunity to ensure that there is no future change in the role of British military in Syria without Parliament's approval". U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider, a Democrat, called for a more comprehensive strategy to deal with Syria at an unrelated panel discussion.

When asked if Syria's Assad could remain leader as long as he refrained from further use of chemical weapons, May said: "This was about, as I have said and you have recognized, this was specifically about the use of chemical weapons".

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