World

British PM faces backlash for bypassing MPs on Syria

LONDON British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a backlash from the domestic opposition after launching military strikes on Syria without consulting parliament.

As the Conservative leader explained her rationale for the air strikes, opposition parties claimed the attacks were legally dubious, risked escalating conflict and should have been approved by lawmakers.

The shadow of the 2003 invasion of Iraq still lingers in the corridors of Britain's parliament, when MPs backed then-prime minister Tony Blair in joining US military action.

"Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace," said Mr Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran leftist leader of the main opposition Labour Party.

"This legally questionable action risks escalating further... an already devastating conflict.

"Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump."

Mrs May's government has insisted the punitive strikes were legal, releasing a statement that said they were aimed at alleviating the "extreme humanitarian suffering" of the Syrian people by reducing the chemical weapons capabilities of President Bashar Al Assad's regime.

"The UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering," the statement said.

It added that it believed the Syrian government had committed a "war crime and a crime against humanity" with chemical weapons use. - AFP

WORLD