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Blood samples show nerve agent, chlorine in Syria gas attack

Britain ready for military action in days as cabinet supports May

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that the country had "proof" the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma and would support any USA action.

Conservative former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, tweeted: "We need a clear response to the Syrian chemical outrage".

Tokyo issued a similar response in April past year when the United States conducted a missile strike on a Syrian air base that was the alleged source of a chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians.

The U.S. now has blood and urine samples from last Saturday's deadly attack in Syria that have tested positive for chemical weapons, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence.

Theresa May is reportedly adamant that the United Kingdom plays an equal part in any military action against Syria.

At stake in Syria is the potential for confrontation, if not outright conflict, between the USA and Russian Federation, former Cold War foes whose relations have deteriorated in recent years over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine, its interference in the 2016 US presidential election and its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

President Donald Trump has emerged from a meeting with his national security team without a "final decision" on how to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Opposition lawmakers have called on May to give Parliament a vote before committing British troops.

Following the meeting, May spoke to Donald Trump and the pair agreed that the United Kingdom and the U.S. would "keep working closely together on the worldwide response", according to a statement from Downing Street.

France already has some 1,100 troops involved in its Operation Chammal, created in 2014 to fight Islamic State extremists in Iraq and extended in 2015 to Syria, as part of the US -led coalition.

Formally, the prime minister has the right to go to war without approval from parliament, but a convention has been established in previous conflicts where MPs have a vote either before or shortly after military action begins.

British lawmakers voted down taking military action against Damascus in 2013, in what was widely viewed as an assertion of parliamentary sovereignty on the use of force.

But they backed action in Iraq the following year, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes to Islamic State (IS) group targets. A YouGov poll showed just one in five members of the public support a strike on Syria.

Corbyn has said any action in Syria should be put to a parliamentary vote.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said after speaking with Macron on Thursday that Germany won't participate in possible military action in Syria, but supports sending a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.

At a congressional hearing in Washington, defence secretary General James Mattis also signalled caution, saying the president had not yet decided whether military force would be part of the USA response in Syria.