Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

'Where's the legal basis?' Corbyn challenges legality of Syria missile strikes

'Where's the legal basis?' Corbyn challenges legality of Syria missile strikes

Corbyn sent a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May Saturday criticizing her decision to join the coordinated unilateral attack before global inspectors even had the chance to begin their probe into the alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government.

Corbyn who said May could face a backlash in parliament for her decision also described the allies bombing of Syria as "legally questionable" and risks further escalating "an already devastating conflict".

Asked whether he would back military action if the OPCW found the Assad regime was responsible for the Douma chemical weapons attack, he said: "I would then say, confront Assad with that evidence; confront any other group that may be fingered because of that - and then say they must come in and destroy those weapons, as they did in 2013 and 2015".

Labour would refuse to back any action in Syria unless it had the backing of Russia, Jeremy Corbyn has said as he called for laws to stop the UK Government acting without the backing of MPs. "It's also been found previously that Isil and related forces in the Syrian civil war have used chemical weapons". At that time, May's predecessor David Cameron had made it clear he wanted to see Assad overthrown.

Boris Johnson told the programme the government's action was the right course to take and that Theresa May would make a statement on her decision in Parliament on Monday.

United States ambassador Nikki Haley told the meeting President Donald Trump has warned that America is "locked and loaded" if there is further use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Mrs May said the Cabinet had taken advice from the Attorney General, National Security Adviser and military chiefs when it met on Thursday.

Corbyn challenged the justification and accused May of being chiefly concerned with following the lead of US President Donald Trump. Such an act could require the government to consult Parliament before taking military action.

The question in any vote will be how many of Mrs May's own Conservatives break ranks. This time, May's promise that it was a limited action that has ended, added to their dislike for Mr Corbyn's position, could keep more of them in place.

However, Corbyn, a former chair of the Stop the War Coalition and longtime opponent of western intervention, said: "The legal basis would have to be self-defence, or the authority of the United Nations security council".

Often when the British government decides on military action, the opposition offers its full support.

Britain joined the USA and France in launching more than 100 missiles against Syrian government targets overnight.

The UK's National Security Adviser, Sir Mark Sedwill, also set out further information about why the Government believed Russian Federation was responsible, saying only it had the "technical means, operational experience and the motive to carry out the attack".

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member, is a close ally of Assad.

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