Corbyn Questions Legal Basis for British Strikes in Syria


Asked by CNN on Sunday why parliament wasn't asked for its approval for Syria attacks, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says our main concern was the effectiveness and speed of the operation in Syria. "I think what we need in this country is something more robust, like a war powers act, so that governments do get held to account by parliament for what they do in our name".

"I say to the foreign secretary, I say to the prime minister, where is the legal basis for this?"

We've got more newsletters we think you'll find interesting. Such an act could require the government to consult Parliament before taking military action.

David Cameron, May's predecessor, lost a parliamentary vote on air strikes against Assad's forces in 2013 when 30 Conservative politicians voted against action, with many Britons wary of entering another conflict after interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region.

"Not urgent cases. Clearly not when we are under attack or the Prime Minister has been kidnapped, or anything like that".

Appearing on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Corbyn - who has called the military action "legally questionable" - said inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be allowed to carry out their work to establish who was responsible for the Douma attack.

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Mr Johnson told Mr Marr: "There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far - thank heavens - the Assad regime has not been so foolish to launch another chemical weapons attack". Only Russia, Bolivia and China voted in favor of the resolution.

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"Its primary goal was to say no to the use of barbaric chemical weapons". The US reports a "2,000 per cent" rise in trolls since the strikes.

Mr Corbyn said: "President Trump has a way with words, that's for sure". The government said its actions met the required tests.

Speaking in Number 10, Mrs May insisted the action was "legal" and defended the decision to go ahead without securing the backing of Parliament.

Inspectors at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Thursday that the toxin used in the assault was Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation in the 1980s.

Four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s joined the co-ordinated missile strikes at 2am, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a base 15 miles west of Homs.

With the opposition Labour, Scottish National and Liberal Democrat parties all saying she was wrong to order the attack without consulting Parliament, and Labour and the SNP also condemning the attack itself, May will be lucky if she avoids a vote.

She added: "We agreed that it was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies".