May: UK to act if Assad uses chemical weapons

Monitoring Desk

LONDON: The U.K. will act “appropriately” if Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria uses chemical weapons, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday.

Speaking at the House of Commons in a weekly question session with lawmakers, May said the U.K. previously “acted with France and the US when we saw chemical weapons being used in Syria.”

May said a robust action was taken together with the “international friends and allies” when the U.K. suffered from the chemical weapon, referring to Salisbury chemical attack in March 2018.

May’s comments came after the U.S. State Department on Tuesday issued a warning to the Assad regime on suspicion it could be conducting a new chemical weapons attack in northwest Syria.

“Unfortunately, we continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria on the morning of May 19, 2019,” the State Department’s spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus had said in a statement.

“The United States continues to closely watch the military operations by the Assad regime in northwest Syria, including indications of any new use of chemical weapons by the regime,” the U.S. statement said.

May said her country condemns all use of chemical weapons.

“We are in close contact with the US; we are monitoring the situation closely and if any use of chemical weapons is confirmed, we will respond appropriately,” May said.

She said “our position is clear.”

“We consider Assad incapable of delivering a lasting peace and his regime has lost its legitimacy due to its atrocities against its own Syrian people,” she added. (AA)