The United Kingdom Parliament decided late Friday night that they can and will take military action in Syria, even though Donald Trump doesn’t appear to want it. In a move that will be extremely controversial in the United States and around the world, the UK parliament voted for the military action by a slim 56 to 44 vote. The vote in parliament will set the stage for the military strike scheduled for Saturday morning.
“I must vote against attacking Syria. I know so many great British people and their families who have already suffered the terrible loss – in particular, our own,” said former Cabinet minister Priti Patel.
Polls indicate that Britain will oppose U.S. military action. The country has a long history of opposing U.S. actions over the past two years in Iraq and Syria. A British military operation against ISIS in both countries would be considered an invasion, and an estimated 25,000 British troops would be involved.
President Trump made the call to launch the deadly airstrikes in Syria in the middle of the night Saturday.
Trump said the U.S. is “well within our rights” to launch airstrikes in Syria “if we have to.” He also told NBC there’s a “very, very limited purpose” for the airstrikes but declined to say whether he has authorized the use of military force against ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
President Trump is set to order a barrage of airstrikes within the next 48 hours against ISIS targets in several locations near the Iraqi border. According to CNN, he is considering a U.S. base in eastern Syria where U.S. troops could be positioned to launch the strikes, the same base at which U.S. troops were stationed following the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi in 2012.
Trump said Friday night that he will ask Congress for authorization to engage in a strike against Syria. “We are in grave danger from terrorism,” Trump was quoted by NBC News. “We have to be smart, vigilant and tough. If we don’t get the message out quickly and properly, we will not survive.” In an interview with the Washington Post, CNN’s Jake Tapper said that the president was considering a military strike before he was even aware of President Putin’s invitation.
“The president is mulling the possibility of authorizing the use of military force against Syrian government forces within hours, despite his frustration with what he considers a lack of urgency by the Obama administration,” New York Times said Monday.
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