British submarines move within striking range of Syria; potential military intervention looms
April 13, 2018 09:40 AM NPT
LONDON, April 13: British submarines have manoeuvred within striking range of Syria as the United Kingdom decides on the course of potential military action against the Assad regime.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has not yet decided on whether to push for direct military intervention and there have been calls for her to take the matter to parliament to attain a decisive vote. In what seems to be a suggestive move, however, the British newspaper the Telegraphreported last night that May ordered the British submarines to move within missile range of Syria to prepare for possible strikes against Syrian government forces.
Since the chemical gas attacks on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma in which around forty residents were killed on Monday, tensions have flared as world leaders expressed their outrage. US President Donald Trump has warned of retaliation against the Assad regime and its Russian support, and has even threatened military action in a tweet saying missiles “will be coming, nice and new and smart!”
Both Assad and Russia have denied any involvement in the chemical attack, but May has declared that “all the indications” show the Syrian regime was responsible for it. She called on ministers to gather in Downing Street on Thursday to discuss the matter.
During a visit to Birmingham on Wednesday, May stated that the “continued use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged,” and that the United Kingdom is working with its “closest allies” regarding how they can make sure that “those who are responsible are held to account.”
Throughout the seven-year conflict in the war-torn country, most regional and international players have had an indirect role in Syria by funding various groups, providing military advisers, and conducting airstrikes. If the UK’s military takes the course of military intervention along with the US, however, there runs the real risk of a direct conflict with Russia.