British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday said the U.K.’s decision to attack Syria was not based an order from U.S. President Donald Trump, “but because it was the right thing to do.”
May made the remarks as she was grilled in parliament on her decision to join France and the U.S. in attacking Syria.
“We have not done this because President Trump asked us to do so,” she said.
“We have acted because it is in our national interest to prevent the further use of chemical weapons in Syria and to uphold and defend the global consensus that these weapons should not be used. For we cannot allow the use of chemicals to become normalized either within Syria, on the streets of the U.K. or elsewhere,” she added.
The Western allied struck Syria early on Saturday in response to an alleged chemical attack in Douma a week before.
While the U.S. said the operation was successful, Russia said Syrian forces had intercepted 71 out of 103 cruise missiles.
US envoy Nikki Haley described the strikes as having been “justified, legitimate and proportionate”.
She confirmed Trump’s warning to the Council, that the U.S. would be ready to strike again in case another chemical attack was used in Syria.
“I spoke to the president this morning and he said, ‘if the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded’.”
When asked how many times Syria has used chemical weapons since 2013 – the last time air strikes were voted on – May replied they have been used “on a number of occasions”.
She said her country was in agreement with France and U.S. that “it was not just morally right but legally right to take action to alleviate further humanitarian suffering”.
“This was not about intervening in a civil war, nor about regime change,” she adds.