Prime minister Theresa May has received unanimous support from her cabinet to take action against Syrian president Bashar Al Assad's regime after the alleged chemical attack on the city of Douma last week, which several countries – including the US, UK and France – believe was carried out by the Syrian government and its main allies, Russia and Iran.
The cabinet ministers agreed that it was highly likely Assad's regime was behind the gas attack that killed 75 people and concluded that a response was needed to avoid the use of chemical weapons on civilians.
May also spoke to US president Donald Trump on Thursday evening and both leaders agreed to work closely on a coordinated international response, even as the American leader was calling a meeting of his national security council.
A spokesman for Number 10 said: “Cabinet agreed that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack. Cabinet agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged.
“They agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Cabinet agreed the prime minister should continue to work with allies in the United States and France to coordinate an international response.”
Yet Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the cabinet of “waiting on US instructions”, adding that more military action in Syria is not the way to solve the crisis.
“More bombing, more killing, more war will not save life. It will just take more lives and spawn the war elsewhere,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron was also considering a response to the attack and said that any French strikes would target chemical facilities so as to impede further gas attacks against civilians.