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May Ready to Help Trump Hit Syria Without Parliament Approval, Ships Already Underway

"The Telegraph added that whatever she decides, military actions are expected to be carried out before Monday."

While a U.S. Carrier Strike Group makes its way to the Mediterranean, and amid reports of US and French fighter jets buzzing around the skies over Syria, the BBC reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May is "ready to join military action against the Assad regime in Syria without first seeking Parliamentary consent." 

The prime minister is said by government insiders to see the need for a response as urgent.

She wants to prevent a repeat of the apparent chemical attack near Damascus, which she described as "abhorrent". -BBC

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Today's hawkish tone comes on the heels of a report that May told President Trump on Tuesday that Britain would require more evidence in last weekend's suspected chemical attack before committing to a military strike against Syria, reports The Times. Guess not?

Perhaps the notion of the UK "sitting this one out" didn't exactly play well with the rest of the coalition...

The prime minister rejected a swift retaliation as inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) prepared to visit the Damascus suburb where at least 40 people were reported to have been killed by chlorine gas on Saturday. -The Times

May chaired a meeting of the national security council in London this week, where she spoke with Presidents Trump and Macron for the first time since the Douma chemical attack. It is reported that Trump, who's had a remarkable change of heart on U.S. involvement in Syria since the election, did not ask the UK to join military strikes

A No 10 read-out of her call with the US president stated that they agreed the international community “needed to respond” but stopped short of blaming the Syrian regime. “They agreed that reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria were utterly reprehensible and if confirmed, represented further evidence of the Assad regime’s appalling cruelty against its own people and total disregard for its legal obligations not to use these weapons,” it said. -The Times

Recall just days ago President Trump saying that Syria would "pay a big price," and that the U.S. response would be decided by Wednesday. Trump reportedly canceled travel plans after reports emerged that Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria would complicate matters in the region. Theresa May, however, initially used very cautious language - noting that the UK would be working with allies to "make an assessment of what has happened," before the BBC reported that her tone changed dramatically overnight. 

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Mrs May had said earlier: “We’ll be working with our allies . . . crucially, to make an assessment of what has happened.” Her tone contrasted with some American rhetoric. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US permanent representative to Nato, accused Assad of genocide and said a military response was appropriate. -The Times

UK Politicians are reportedly engaged in a fierce internal debate over the situation in Syria - with foreign secretary Boris Johnson arguing that the use of chemical weapons must not go unpunished, and that the UK should be part of the military response alongside the United States and France.

May, however, is said to have raised doubts over military action - pointing to last year's strikes following the Kahn Sheikhoun chemical attack. 

With no plans to a recall parliament, Tory MPs said that Mrs May should not to take action without Commons approval. Julian Lewis, chairman of the defence select committee, said: “When our country comes under attack, the government may have to act first and seek parliament’s approval afterwards. But when we are contemplating military intervention in other people’s conflicts, parliament ought to be consulted first.” -The Times

That almost sounds like common sense... Perhaps something even candidate Trump might say!

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Shortly after Theresa May declared that she could act in Syria without approval from Parliament, the Telegraph is reporting that the prime minister has ordered UK submarines to travel within striking range of Syria, and adds that strikes could begin as early as Thursday, which is when May will call an emergency cabinet meeting over Syria.

With the US's Truman carrier still a month away, the "coalition" will rely on UK and French ships. US air support will likely also be involved, suggesting that any attack on Syria may be based on a joint UK-French naval operation, with US air support.

Meanwhile, as reported earlier, President Bashar al-Assad has already started moving aircraft and military vehicles away from air bases that could become targets for the coalition's bombs.

Mrs May hardened her stance towards Syria as she said the UK, US and France were “rapidly reaching” a clear picture of who was responsible for last Saturday’s chemical attack on Douma, Eastern Ghouta.

Mrs May said "all the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible", adding: "The continued use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged."

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Sources indicated to the Telegraph that Mrs May has now abandoned any intentions of seeking the backing of Parliament - which does not sit until Monday - for military action.

There are reports that President Bashar al-Assad has already started moving aircraft and vehicles away from air bases that are likely to be targeted, and both Mr Trump and President Emmanuel Macron of France have stressed the need to act swiftly.

On Wednesday afternoon, in the US, President Trump told reporters to expect a decision Wednesday night, while Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said "a number of options" are on the table regarding US action in Syria. 

Trump has also reportedly come to the conclusion that Syria was behind the brutal gas attack in rebel-held Ghouta - and that Russia failed to guarantee that Syria's government had given up its stockpile of chemical weapons.

A source inside Whitehall purportedly told the Telegraph that May has broad support to join in US airstrikes in Syria, but that "further discussions" are needed with the US and France before a final decision about an escalation could be made. Gaining the backing of her cabinet is the last obstacle for May. The Telegraph added that whatever she decides, military actions are expected to be carried out before Monday.

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May has recalled her cabinet ministers from their Easter break for an emergency meeting where she will discuss how the UK should respond.

Source: Zero Hedge

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