The UK has ordered submarines into striking range, ready to attack Syria’s Bashar al Assad as early as Thursday night, reported the Telegraph. Tensions continue to escalate following the alleged chemical attack in Douma.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called her cabinet back from Easter break early for an emergency meeting on Thursday afternoon. May will discuss how the UK should respond to last Saturday’s alleged chemical attack on Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
It is understood that at May’s Thursday meeting she will seek approval from the cabinet to join allies France and the US in a joint offensive against Syria, without the consultation of Parliament. The approval, if granted, could see the operation launched “within hours.”
Whitehall sources told the Telegraph that any military action is expected before next week, when Parliament resumes. By gaining the backing of her cabinet, the prime minister will be clear of the final domestic hurdle in the way of British involvement in the allied Syrian assault.
Escalating international tensions reached a fever pitch yesterday, when the apparently trigger-happy US president, Donald Trump, took to Twitter to warn Russia to “get ready” as missiles “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” at its ally, Syria.
In Cyprus, RAF cruise missile-armed Tornado fighter bombers based at RAF Akrotiri could join any action on Syria.
It is understood that British officials are in talks with their French and US counterparts about which military assets should be deployed for military action.
“We are committed to deter and prevent the use of chemical weapons,” a government source said. We now have to establish the best way of getting there, and those conversations are carrying on, officials are speaking to their counterparts in France and America right now. In terms of precisely what happens next, that is still to be confirmed.”
As the chance of military conflict increases, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that pro-government forces were evacuating major airports and military airbases on Wednesday.
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