In the recent past, the British government has sought the approval from the Commons, before implementing any military interventions. However, May’s office confirmed on Tuesday that she had already spoken to United State President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.
She currently does not have a mandate from the House of Commons, but the debate on whether she actually needs that mandate is raging. There is also a debate about the role that the United Kingdom would be able to play in said intervention, without the approval of lawmakers.
Prime Minister May had separate conversations with Trump and Macron but there is no clarity on what interventions the United States is looking at. All the relevant stakeholders agree that the attacks were “utterly reprehensible”.
“They agreed that the international community needed to respond to uphold the worldwide prohibition on the use of chemical weapons,” read the statement from Downing Street on Tuesday.
“They agreed they would continue working closely together and with international partners to ensure that those responsible were held to account,” continued the statement.
However, there is still no clarity on how and when those deemed responsible will be held to account.
The matter is the subject of an intense debate at the United Nations. The Security Council is expected to vote on three draft resolutions Tuesday. Naturally, the United States and Russia are not likely to see eye-to-eye on this.
The Kremlin has encouraged the West to conduct a thorough investigation at the site of the attack, suggesting it would be grossly irresponsible to intervene without substantial evidence to support claims that the attacks were ordered by the Assad regime.
The United States and its partners have made a mistake with this in the past, the most glaring example being the war in Iraq.