Thursday, 19 April, 2018


Air strikes on Syria will not change course of war: UK's Johnson

Theresa May Theresa May
Hannah Rogers | 16 April, 2018, 14:25

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson on April 15 said that his government took the decision to join missile strikes against Syria without securing parliamentary approval because it was focused on the speed and efficiency of the operation.

But Johnson stressed the "overwhelming purpose" of the mission was a response to a series of chemical attacks in recent years.

Speaking as he arrived at the European Union foreign affairs council, Mr Johnson said: "The action that was taken by the UK, by France and by the United States, in taking calibrated and proportionate strikes against Assad's chemical weapons capabilities, was entirely right".

The head of the United Kingdom foreign policy justified Monday the last week's missile launches, adding though that the attacks weren't aimed at removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Entirely the right thing to do".

"It's very important to stress that this is not an attempt to change the tide of the war in Syria or to have regime change or to get rid of Bashar al-Assad".

"I'm afraid the Syrian war will go on in its awful, miserable way. Their goal is to make it clear that we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons", he said.

On the same show, Jeremy Corbyn expressed his unease over the strikes and criticised the prime minister for not recalling Parliament to vote on the issue.

The Government is though expected to win worldwide support for the strikes at today's European Union foreign affairs council in Luxembourg. "You see a kind of continuum of from Salisbury to Syria in the reckless, contemptuous use of these chemical weapons, endangering public health in Salisbury in Wiltshire and completely indiscriminately killing children cowering in buildings in Douma in eastern Ghouta", he said.

The OPCW itself had declared that the Syrian regime's chemical weapons stockpile had been removed in 2014, only to confirm later that sarin was used in a 2017 attack in the northern town of Khan Sheikhun.

Despite describing the intervention as "successful", Britain's foreign minister said there were now no plans for further attacks.

Netherlands foreign minister Stef Blok said they didn't participate in the strikes they had not been asked to.

Boris Johnson warned yesterday that Russian Federation could retaliate through cyberattacks on the NHS or power networks.

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