Western powers at United Nations make case for military action against Syria

Russia news The West's multibillion war chest threatening to bear down on Russia

Formally, the prime minister has the right to go to war without approval from parliament, but a convention has been established in previous conflicts where MPs have a vote either before or shortly after military action begins.

May and Trump had also "agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime". That meant airstrikes, possibly in tandem with France and other allies that have expressed outrage at the alleged Syrian chemical attack, could be launched within hours of a presidential decision.

"But should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defense of a principle on which we all agree".

Donald Trump, the USA president, has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, spurring concerns that a U.S. strike could lead to a conflagration with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

Russian Federation has been involved in the Syrian conflict since 2015 and became Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally in the war against armed opposition groups.

Asked about possible US strikes on Syria, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria".

A global chemical weapons watchdog says it has deployed fact-finding teams to investigate a suspected chemical attack that hit Douma, a town in Syria's Eastern Ghouta and the last rebel stronghold.

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss support for USA action against the Syrian regime.

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Opposition lawmakers have called on May to give Parliament a vote before committing British troops.

British lawmakers voted down taking military against Damascus in 2013, in what was widely viewed as an assertion of parliamentary sovereignty on the use of force.

A spokesman for May declined to comment on the report.

The Times reports that "the largest U.S. air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war" is now heading towards Syria, and that US-led strikes are expected to begin "within the next three days".

A YouGov poll in The Times conducted this week found that 43 percent of voters oppose strikes in Syria, with 34 percent unsure and only 22 percent supportive.

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told the BBC that parliament "can and should be recalled immediately" to hold a vote on the latest possible action.

"But on a strategic level, it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control - if you get my drift on that", Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee Thursday morning.

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