US, UK and France back off Military action on Syria

UK Chancellor George Osborne has stated that Prime Minister David Cameron will not pursue military support for action in Syria even if new evidence of Chemical weapon use comes to light.

“I think Parliament has spoken. I think the Labour party will always play this opportunistically. The Conservative MPs, and there were Liberal Democrats, who couldn’t support us, they have a deep skepticism about military involvement and I don’t think another UN report, or whatever, would make the difference. Of course I wanted us to be part of a potential military response. Now that is just not going to be open to us now because the House of Commons has spoken,” Osborne said on a the Andrew Marr program.

Following a deadly chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians last month, which killed over 1400 people including women and children, Obama had started organizing a military assault on Syria with US Navy ships awaiting orders to launch missiles. However, in a statement on Saturday Obama seems to have aligned his position with close ally UK Prime Minister David Cameron, announcing that he will first seek domestic support from Congress before sending troops to Syria, a decision likely to delay any strike for at least nine days. Theoretically as Commander in Chief, President Obama can veto any Congressional vote, however it is unlikely he will do so after seeking Congress’ support on military action and it is questionable whether Congress will approve of the decision to act in Syria as a military assault could cost $1billion per month, putting enormous pressure on the already overburdened federal budget.

Following Cameron and Obama’s statement, France announced that it cannot take action in Syria alone without the UK or US. “France cannot go it alone,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls told Europe 1 radio. “We need a coalition.” Although President Hollande reiterated France’s commitment to punish Syria for crimes against humanity, he has come under pressure to also consult with parliament before any military action.

A BVA poll on Saturday showed Hollande’s approval rating at a new low and most French people against military action in Syria.

Syria’s government run media has viewed military hesitation from the UK, France and the US as a triumph against the western allies, printing on the front page of its al-Thawra newspaper that “Obama announced yesterday, directly or through implication, the beginning of the historic American retreat.”





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