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UK's May to face angry lawmakers over Syria airstrikes

AP  |  London 

British is set to face restive lawmakers today to justify her decision to launch airstrikes against without a vote in Parliament.

The UK debate comes as the European Union's foreign ministers joined together to say they understood the need for the airstrikes and called for a new push for a to the war in

jets joined American and French warplanes and ships in hitting targets in early Saturday in response to a reported by the in the town of

Parliament, which returned today after a spring break, was not consulted about the action. The is not legally bound to seek lawmakers' approval for military strikes, although it is customary to do so.

May's office said today that she plans to tell lawmakers that the airstrikes were "in Britain's national interest," were carried out to stop further suffering from attacks and had broad international support.

"We cannot allow the use of to become normalized, either within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or elsewhere," May plans to say, according to excerpts of her speech linking the in Syria with the of a former Russian and his daughter last month with a military-grade nerve agent in the English city of

said Monday that the airstrikes against Syria, which targeted three sites, had been "calibrated and proportionate." He said the action was "not an attempt to change the tide of the war in Syria or to have regime change."

In an unusual move, the says it will seek an emergency debate on the airstrikes so legislators can have their say.

That after-the-fact debate which may not include a vote is unlikely to satisfy angry opposition lawmakers.

Jeremy Corbyn, of the main opposition Labour Party, said Britain should introduce a War Powers Act to ban military action without Parliament's approval. Corbyn said yesterday that he was not convinced the military intervention had been legal under international law.

"It looked awfully to me as though the was more interested in following Donald Trump's lead than anything else," Corbyn said.

In Luxembourg, the EU foreign ministers joined in calling for a political breakthrough involving regional players to put Syria on track to a of the conflict.

The 28 ministers said the EU "understands" the need for the coordinated US, French and British airstrikes against Syrian regime targets last weekend following the suspected April 7 in

They insisted it was executed with "the sole objective to prevent further use of chemical weapons and as weapons by the Syrian regime to kill its own people." French said he welcomed the unanimous backing of the military strike against Syria.

EU said the EU wants to use a major meeting on Syria in next week to give impetus to UN peace moves following the airstrikes. "There is the need to give a push to the UN-led process," Mogherini said.

More than 70 delegations are expected to attend the April 24-25 Syria donor conference in

"We should keep on pushing for a solution through the It's the only way forward," Dutch said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 19:25 IST