'Enough is enough': Boris Johnson defends Syria air strikes

Elias Hubbard
April 16, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron said the strikes had been limited so far to Syria's chemical weapons facilities.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been "working in close collaboration" with United Nations security experts "to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team", it said.

On Friday night the US, Britain and France launched air strikes against Syrian chemical sites after obtaining "proof" that poisonous gas was used last weekend in Douma, killing 41 civilians.

Syrian state media reported that internal security forces had entered Douma on Saturday and that the town would be secured within hours. He warned that intervention would lead to a proxy war with Russian Federation which would be "not only unsafe to Britain, but the entire world".

Russia, which intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad, has denied there was a chemical attack and has accused Britain of helping to stage the Douma incident to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

The opposition leader questioned the prime minister's statement that the Syria attack is "right and legal".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that Canada stands with its allies and that it supports the decision " to take action to degrade the Assad regime's ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people". "Let these united actions send a clear message to the regime - the use of chemical weapons is categorically unacceptable and you will be held to account".

Mr Johnson said action had to be taken against Syria for the Douma attack during an appearance on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

"Very careful scientific analysis was applied to determine where best to target the Storm Shadows to maximise the destruction of the stockpiled chemicals and to minimise any risks of contamination to the surrounding area", the ministry said.

"We are reassured that the military action is strictly targeted and limited in its objective".

But they backed action in Iraq the following year, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes to targets of the Islamic State group.

Professor Iain Begg, Research Fellow at the European Institute and Co-Director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), told Xinhua: "A volley of bombs may help the USA and its allies feel they have reacted in a timely and proportionate manner to the undoubted horror of the use by the Syrian regime of chemical weapons, but the inevitable worry will be that they have not thought through what happens next".

"Where is the legal basis for this?" he said.

Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "Riding the coattails of an erratic U.S. president is no substitute for a mandate from the House of Commons".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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