Syria air strikes may have been illegal, says Corbyn



UK Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to defend her decision to join U.S. and French coalition partners in airstrikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities on Saturday, as opposition lawmakers complained about the lack of a parliamentary vote.

"I say to the foreign secretary, I say to the prime minister, where is the legal basis for this?"

The Labour leader said: "I think parliament should have a say in this and I think the Prime Minister could have quite easily done that".

Jeremy Corbyn has called for the introduction of a War Powers Act to prevent governments launching military action in future without winning the backing of MPs.

She told ITV's Peston On Sunday: "We think that it should be in law that there should be a vote in Parliament before we take military action".

"If we want to get the moral high ground, as a country with a history of worldwide involvement, then we need to abide by global law, and I say to the foreign secretary, and I say to the prime minister, where is the legal basis for this?" he said.

"If we could get to a process in the United Nations where you get to a ceasefire, you get to a political solution, you then may well get to a situation where there could be a United Nations force established to enforce that ceasefire".

Mrs May doesn't have a majority in Parliament, but the Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up her government, said it backed her actions.

Mrs May will today call for an emergency debate in the Commons on Syria to give MPs the chance to discuss the military action.

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Mr Johnson told Mr Marr: "There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far - thank heavens - the Assad regime has not been so foolish to launch another chemical weapons attack".

"We have done it because we believed it was the right thing to do". Only Russia, Bolivia and China voted in favor of the resolution.

Ms May will argue that Saturday's operation was both legal and justified on humanitarian grounds as a deterrent against further use of chemical weapons and that it was in Britain's national interest.

The group said it "strongly condemned" the action and accused May of "sanctioning killing" at US President Donald Trump's behest.

She spent the evening calling world leaders, including key regional figures such as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, to explain why she had ordered British military involvement in the US-led strikes.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have given the action their full support, secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said.

Inspectors at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Thursday that the toxin used in the assault was Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation in the 1980s.

He further called on May to assure the country and lawmakers that no further action will be taken against Syria and that worldwide inspectors "be allowed to complete their inspections without hindrance". "There will be abundant time for people to put their views across".