World won’t stand by as tar­gets poi­soned: May

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

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’’.

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