Britain is ready to back US against Syria if Assad's regime uses chemical weapons again, says Fallon

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Wednesday 28 June 2017 | 10:25 AM Damascus Time

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  • Britain is ready to back US against Syria if Assad's regime uses chemical weapons again, says Fallon

    Mail Online

    Britain will support fresh US retaliation against chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime, the Defence Secretary said today.

    Sir Michael Fallon made clear that the UK is ready to stand with its ally after the White House warned that Bashar Assad's military is preparing another chemical attack against rebel forces.

    But he said the Americans had not yet shared any intelligence about the threat.

    Sir Michael Fallon, pictured on his way to the Cabinet meeting today, made clear that the UK is ready to stand with its ally after the White House warned that Bashar Assad's military is preparing another chemical attack against rebel forces

    The White House warning said the attack would be similar to a Sarin gas attack in April which left 89 people dead 

    Sir Michael said Britain had backed the Donald Trump when the US president mounted missile strikes against Assad's forces following a devastating chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians last April.

    'As always in war, the military action you use must be justified, it must be legal, it must proportionate, it must be necessary. In the last case it was,' Sir Michael told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

    'If the Americans take similar action again, I want to be very clear - we will support it.'

    The White House said in a statement overnight that it had evidence chemical weapons were being prepared.

    'The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children,' the statement said.

    'The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack.

    'As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

    'If, however, Mr Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.'

    There was no further detail given of how the US would respond to a fresh attack.

    There was an international outcry in April after an apparent Sarin gas attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun left scores of people dead.

    Jeremy Corbyn opposed the US reprisals at the time, sayins it risked 'escalating the war in Syria still further'.

    He said the government should instead 'throw its weight behind peace negotiations and a comprehensive political settlement'.

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