Theresa May told MPs that there was clear evidence that the Assad government was behind the Douma chemical weapons attack and it was “legally and morally right” for the UK to join air strikes against the Syrian regime to prevent “further human suffering”. She emphasised that the UK had “explored every diplomatic channel” in response but regrettably decided there was no alternative to “limited, carefully targeted action”.
The British Prime Minister, in a PQ&A session which lasted for more than three hours, defended the decision not to seek Parliamentary approval for the intervention after criticism from opposition parties.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the action was “legally questionable”. Calling on Mrs May to publish the legal advice in full, Mr Corbyn said the government must be “accountable to this Parliament and not to the whims of this US president”. He questioned who was responsible for the attack, saying that while it was “highly likely” the Assad regime was behind it, other groups had carried out similar attacks and weapons inspectors must continue their work.
But some Labour MPs backed the decision to launch air strikes.
The SNP forced for a vote on whether the House had sufficiently debated the matter of Syria. The government won the motion by 314 to 36 votes, a majority of 278.