Boris Johnson says British military could help US in Syria

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says UK could help US military in Syria. Pic: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says UK could help US military in Syria. Pic: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
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Britain could join the United States in taking military action against the Syrian regime, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said today.

Mr Johnson said the government may also bypass a House of Commons vote authorising action if the US asked for help.

The Foreign Secretary said it would be “very difficult to say no” if Donald Trump’s administration asks the UK for help in taking action against Bashar Assad’s regime in response to another chemical attack.

The US launched a cruise missile strike on a Syrian regime air base this month after President Assad allegedly killed scores of people in a sarin gas attack on a rebel-held area in Idlib province.

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Asked if MPs would have to approve Britain joining any similar action in the future, Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think that needs to be tested.”
Mr Johnson said Theresa May backed his view that the UK would find it difficult to say no to a request from the US.
He said: “I think it will be very difficult if the United States has a proposal to have some sort of action in response to a chemical weapons attack, and if they come to us and ask for our support, whether it’s with submarine-based cruise missiles in the [Mediterranean], or whatever it happens to be, as was the case back in 2013, it would be in my view, and I know this is also the view of the Prime Minister, it would be very difficult for us to say no.”
Asked if the Prime Minister would have to win a Commons vote before taking action, he replied: “I think that needs to be tested.
“I think it would be very difficult for us to say no.”
Asked if the approval of MPs was a necessary pre-condition, he replied: “As I said, I think it would be very difficult for us to say no; how exactly we were able to implement that would be for the Government, for the Prime Minister.
“But if the Americans were once again to be forced by the actions of the Assad regime - don’t forget, it was Assad who unleashed murder upon his own citizens with weapons that were banned almost 100 years ago - if the Americans choose to act again and they ask us to help, as I say, I think it would be very difficult to say no.”
Britain is currently carrying out air strikes in Syria and Iraq against so-called Islamic State (IS) terrorists but has taken no military action against the Assad regime.
MPs backed the action against IS in a December 2015 Commons vote but rejected strikes against the Assad regime in 2013.