Theresa May and her ministers are holding an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the UK’s response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.
Ministers are expected to back her call to join military action threatened by the United States and its allies. Sources say the PM is prepared to take action against the Assad government without first seeking Parliamentary consent.
Mrs May has said “all the indications” are that the Syrian regime was responsible for the alleged chemical attack in the formerly rebel-held town of Douma. Medical sources say dozens of people were killed, including children, during the alleged toxic bombing in the Eastern Ghouta region.
But this is disputed by Russia and Damascus which says that the attack was staged by Syrian rebels to provoke a Western intervention to prevent them from losing the war.
Senior figures from Russia, which provides military support to Damascus, have warned of a Russian response to a US attack.
There have also been calls from opposition parties and some Tories for MPs to get a vote before any military action. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “More bombing, more killing, more war will not save life. It will just take more lives and spawn the war elsewhere.”
Mr Corbyn also criticised the US president’s rhetoric, saying: “I think the whole world should be alarmed at that sort of instant reaction – sending stuff out on social media to make policy.”