United Kingdom jets fire at Syrian base in 'limited and targeted' strike

EPA-EFE  Cpl L MATTHEWS BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

EPA-EFE Cpl L MATTHEWS BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

DUP MP Nigel Doods, reacting to the air strikes, said: "First and foremost we salute the courage of our courageous servicemen and women".

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.

A series of missile strikes were launched last night against Syria by the US, UK and France in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma a week ago.

Britain's defence ministry said in a statement that four British Tornado jets had fired Storm Shadow missiles at the Syrian base 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Homs at 0100 GMT.

Syrian state media reported that internal security forces had entered Douma on Saturday and that the town would be secured within hours.

She declined to say whether Bashar al-Assad should stay in power and said talks with allies would continue on finding a political solution to the civil war.

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.

More news: Pro-Assad official: Targeted bases were evacuated on Russian warning
More news: France has not declared war on Syria regime: Macron
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Britain's defense ministry said initial indications were that the precision weapons and meticulous target planning had "resulted in a successful attack". "This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime", Trump alleged.

Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the military action was "legal" and defended the decision to go ahead without securing the backing of Parliament. "We sent a clear message to Assad and his murderous lieutenants that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons' attack for which they will be held accountable".

Many politicians in Britain, including some in May's own Conservative Party, had called for parliament to be recalled from a break to give authority to any military strike.

Opinion polls suggest most Britons do not support military action.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the strike as "limited and targeted". Some 36 percent were in favour of the military action.

Shortly after the military strikes were launched, Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon said United Kingdom foreign policy should be set by Parliament and not Donald Trump after the U.S., United Kingdom and France bombed targets in Syria.

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