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Jeremy Corbyn responds to Britain attacking Syria: "Bombs won't bring about peace"

16 April 2018

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, Corbyn then hit out at the government citing humanitarian reasons to launch the missiles describing the argument as a "legally debatable concept". "What we need in this country is something more robust, like a war powers act, so that governments do get held to account by parliament for what they do in our name", he said.

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson backed the PM, writing on Twitter that the world was "united in its disgust for any use of chemical weapons, but especially against civilians".

John Woodcock, a long-standing critic of the Labour leader, said at the time that it was "worrying" Mr Corbyn was "asserting a different position" on Russian culpability to other frontbenchers.

"This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as United States defence secretary James Mattis has admitted, an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely".

"There is precedent over previous interventions when Parliament has had a vote".

Inspectors at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Thursday that the toxin used in the assault was Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation in the 1980s.

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The prime minister's office said she had spoken to Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia; Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of Italy, Australia and Canada about the strikes.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said taking military action against Bashar Assad's regime had been the "wrong thing to do".

An alleged gas attack last weekend in the town of Douma killed more than 40 people, according to opposition activists and rescuers.

Corbyn said the strikes will make assigning blame for the use of chemical weapons in Syria "less, not more, likely".

They also insist that the move would deprive Prime Ministers of the advantage of surprise in military interventions and that such legislation would open governments to a potential court challenge.

"The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed", Mr Corbyn said in a statement.

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Mr Corbyn said: "No-one would ever say never".

Q&A What are the military options in Syria?

Often when the British government decides on military action, the opposition offers its full support.

"Its primary goal was to say no to the use of barbaric chemical weapons".

Asked whether Labour did not believe in military action in any circumstances, she said: "No".

MPs are due to return to Westminster from the Easter recess on Monday - and a row is continuing between some MPs over whether a vote should take place in Parliament before any action is taken.

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Jeremy Corbyn responds to Britain attacking Syria: