ISSN 2330-717X

Blair Urges PM Theresa May To Act Over Syria Chemical Attack


Tony Blair has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to act and underlined that she would not need an approval from the British parliament to join an intervention in the war-torn country.

“If you don’t respond to the use of chemical weapons against civilians then obviously we’re ignoring what the international community has said,” Blair said, speaking to Sky News.

“Which is that this is unacceptable and those that use such methods should be held to account and we’re giving carte blanche for the use of chemical weapons,” he said.

“So I think it’s a pretty simple equation.

“Even if we take the action — which I think we will have to do — it doesn’t solve the longer-term question of what happens in Syria.”

Asked whether a parliamentary vote on joining any U.S. action would be called, Blair said: “They don’t strictly need one and we’re not talking about ground action, this would be action in support of military intervention by the U.S.”

May has refrained from making any comments on any possible military involvement in Syria but strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons on civilians last Saturday in Douma, a Damascus suburb.

The latest events in Douma are examples of the Assad regime’s “violation of international norms”, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday.

The U.K. “utterly condemns” the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance, May said, echoing earlier British comments over the Douma incident.

May condemned the “barbaric” targeting of innocent civilians, including children in the suspected chemical attack that killed dozens of people according to reports.

Assad regime forces struck targets in the Damascus suburb’s Douma district on Saturday midnight using a poisonous gas, which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to the White Helmets, a local civil defense agency.

“If they are found to be responsible, the regime and its backers, including Russia, must be held to account,” she said, underlining that Russia has blocked investigative mechanisms by vetoing such steps at the UN Security Council.

On Monday, the Downing Street said in a statement that the U.K. was “working with its allies to come up with a rapid and unified response to the apparent chemical weapons attack.”

A government spokesman said the U.K. would consider “a range of options” if the use of chemical weapons in Syria is verified, revealing no further details on what those options might be.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 which called for a month-long cease-fire in Syria, especially in Eastern Ghouta to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the resolution, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive backed by Russian air power aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of Eastern Ghouta.

Home to some 400,000 people, the suburb has remained the target of a crippling regime siege for the last five years.

Earlier this month, a UN commission of inquiry released a report accusing the regime of committing war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.”

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