France Mulls Military Action Against Syria For Gas Attacks

Syrian tanks assemble on the outskirts of Douma on Sunday in an operation to retake Eastern Ghouta

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it is "vital that parliament has the chance to debate and decide in advance" of any military action, which he warned "risks a risky escalation of the conflict".

He said even if the investigative team verifies the use of chemical weapons, "we will not know who did it". "All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible".

Moisi stressed the "risk of escalation" of the conflict amid increasing concerns about a U.S. -Russia proxy war.

The United States accused the Syrian government on Friday of using banned chemical arms at least 50 times since Syria's civil war began seven years ago - far higher than the number of attacks that had been publicly confirmed.

The British leader's office said Cabinet ministers "agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime".

Earlier on Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned the West against attacking Syria, saying accusations about the suspected chemical attack on Douma were "fabricated".

British Prime Minister Theresa May's senior ministers agreed on the need for action at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, but Downing Street did not specify what measures the United Kingdom would take, reports CNN.

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Asked about possible USA strikes on Syria, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria".

Syria, which denies carrying out the latest attack, said it had invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has blamed the regime for previous such incidents, to visit Douma. May isn't legally required to do that, though it has become conventional since the 2003 invasion of Iraq for lawmakers to be given the chance to vote before British forces are deployed.

Britain has been launching air strikes in Syria from its military base in Cyprus, but only against targets linked to the Islamic State militant group. Downing Street spokesmen repeatedly declined to comment on that report.

A YouGov poll in The Times conducted this week found that 43 percent of voters oppose strikes in Syria, with 34 percent unsure and only 22 percent supportive.

British lawmakers voted down taking military action against Damascus in 2013, in what was widely viewed as an assertion of parliamentary sovereignty on the use of force.

Some MPs have backed Britain acting against Syria, warning that the use of chemical weapons was in breach of global law and could not be allowed to go unpunished.

Speaking to congress at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Mattis said he believed a chemical attack had taken place and blamed Russian Federation for being complicit in Syrian government's possession of chemical weapons.

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