UK could join US action in event of new Syria chemical attack

Britain “would find it very difficult to say no” if the US requested its support should Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad use chemical weapons against his people again, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said today.

The United States accused the Syrian army of carrying out a 4 April attack in which nearly 100 people died from poison gas. It responded by launching cruise missiles against a Syrian air base, and has said it would not tolerate use of chemical weapons by the Assad government.

Britain endorsed the US response to the chemical attack, but was not directly involved. However, Johnson suggested the government would back Trump militarily if requested to do so in the event of any future chemical weapons attack.

If the Americans were once again to be forced by the actions of the Assad regime … and they ask us to help it would be very difficult to say no 

Johnson told BBC radio.

Johnson said it remained to be seen whether such military assistance might need the permission of parliament, which in 2013 voted against bombing Al-Assad’s forces in Syria to deter them from using chemical weapons.

The April attack in Syria has raised tension between Western powers and Russia, which has provided military backing to Assad’s government.

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