Britain Joins France And US In Air Strikes In Syria

During the night Britain joined other forces to bomb a suspected chemical weapon factory in Syria.

RAF Tornado jets set off in the early hours, with The Ministry of Defence deeming the mission a 'success', according to reports.

The attack came hours after US President Donald Trump confirmed he'd organised a strike on Damascus.

The strike, coordinated with France, killed 70 people, according to the Telegraph.

Prime Minister Theresa May explained Britain's decision to join the attacks, saying there was no alternative but to do so.

"This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly," she said.

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest. We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world.

"We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none."

Surface-to-air missiles are seen over Syria's capital Damascus on 14 April. Credit: PA
Surface-to-air missiles are seen over Syria's capital Damascus on 14 April. Credit: PA

May added: "The Syrian Regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the most cruel and abhorrent way.

"And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.

"This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped - not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons.

"We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this. But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted."

An RAF Tornado lands at Britain Royal Air Force base in Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes. Credit: PA
An RAF Tornado lands at Britain Royal Air Force base in Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes. Credit: PA

May's announcement was made minutes after Donald Trump revealed that he had ordered the strike at 9pm on Friday, explaining in a televised statement that it was a response to the 'evil and despicable' chemical attack by the Syrian regime, which took place last weekend.

"The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons," Trump said.

"Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States."

He added: "To Iran and to Russia I ask - what kind of regime wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?

"The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No state can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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