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READ: UK Prime Minister Theresa May's statement on Syria strikes

READ: UK Prime Minister Theresa May's statement on Syria strikes

British Prime Minister Theresa May declined to say on Saturday whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should stay in power and said talks with allies would continue on finding a political solution to the civil war.

"It was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies to alleviate further humanitarian suffering by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability", May said.

"It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties".

The air strikes were in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack in Douma earlier this week, which saw horrific images of its aftermath broadcast worldwide.

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The former missile base was assessed to have been used by the Syrian regime to "keep chemical weapon precursors stockpiled in breach of Syria's obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention", the MoD said in a statement. So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime.

DUP MP Nigel Doods, reacting to the air strikes, said: "First and foremost we salute the courage of our fearless servicemen and women". I believe it is absolutely in our national interest. The Cabinet's approval for action raised the likelihood of Britain joining France and the United States in a military response against Syria's government. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack. We would have preferred an alternative path.

"As always, they have served our country with the greatest professionalism and bravery, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude".