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JEREMY CORBYN accused PM Theresa May today of being on standby to mimic US President Donald Trump and “waiting for instructions” on when to launch war on Syria.
And peace campaigners rallied outside Downing Street calling on the government not to attack the Middle Eastern country, where the Bashar al-Assad government has been at war with jihadist insurgents for seven years.
Mr Corbyn’s comments coincided with Russia’s claim to have “irrefutable evidence” showing that a supposed chemical attack in the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma last weekend was fabricated with the help of an unspecified foreign intelligence agency.
The Douma attack led to Ms May and Mr Trump agreeing yesterday that the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime “must not go unchallenged.”
Before their talk, she held an emergency meeting with her Cabinet. They agreed to take “action,” while MPs and opposition leaders urged her to recall Parliament early in order to allow a vote before plunging the country into war.
A statement released by Downing Street after the meeting made no direct reference to military action, but it is considered to be a signal that Britain would be prepared to join any US-led air strikes.
The largest US air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war is said to be heading towards Syria, according to reports in The Times, paving the way for strikes within the next three days.
Mr Corbyn said: “Further UK military intervention in Syria’s appalling multisided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict.
“The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed, but the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.
“Even US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said we ‘don’t have evidence’ and warned further military action could ‘escalate out of control’.”
Campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition handed a letter to Downing Street today, signed by MPs, trade unionists, celebrities and academics, urging Ms May not to take military action.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russian experts have inspected the site of the alleged attack in Douma, just east of Damascus, and found no trace of chemical weapons.
A YouGov poll for The Times this week showed just 22 per cent of Britons support military action against Syria, as against 43 per cent who are opposed.
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