World won’t stand by as targets poisoned: May
EUROPEAN and Middle East leaders have lined up in support of the military action in Syria, as UK Prime Minister Theresa May indicated those contemplating using chemical weapons should consider themselves warned.
Germany, the European Union, Turkey and Israel spoke out in support of the “necessary’’ and “appropriate’’ military responses launched by the UK, the US and France on three Syrian targets. Mrs May said the strikes were legal, appropriate, and in the British national interest.
She linked the poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK last month to the strikes, saying the use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated by the international community.
The UK has blamed Russia for the poison attack. Russia has denied involvement.
Mrs May said the purpose of the strikes had been to “degrade’’ the chemical capabilities of Syrian leader Bashar alAssad’s regime, but she warned “it is also a message to others that the international community is not going to stand by and let chemical weapons be used with impunity’’.
She defended her decision to use “prerogative powers’’ to authorise the UK air strikes without taking it to parliament and said she would be in the House of Commons on Monday for the issue to be debated.
The UK’s Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told the BBC the strike was “a highly successful mission’’.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed the “necessary and appropriate’’ military intervention in Syria.
European Union president Donald Tusk also said the EU “stands with our allies’’.