UK opposition leader Corbyn warns against intervention in Syria
The leader of the UK's main opposition party has warned that strikes against Syria's regime could escalate the conflict, as the British government mulls joining US-led military action.
Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement on Friday that Prime Minister Theresa May was "waiting for instructions" from the US on a possible military response to a suspected chemical attack.
"Further UK military intervention in Syria's appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict," Corbyn said.
"The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed,"
He added that it was "vital that parliament has the chance to debate and decide in advance" of any military action.
The Labour Party leader called for an investigation into the suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma last weekend that killed at least 40 people and injured 1,000 people.
Corbyn has evoked memories of the Iraq War, when lawmakers approved joining in the face of strong public opposition.
Corbyn's comments come as Britain's government weighed the possibility of military action against Syria on Thursday, agreeing the "need to take action" despite polls showing the public remains wary of military intervention.
May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss joining mooted strikes by the US and allies, with ministers agreeing "on the need to take action", her Downing Street office said in a statement.
Her office said that May had talked with Trump by telephone on Thursday evening to discuss Syria.
Trump is considering his military options in Syria after Saturday's suspected chemical attack in Douma.
His French counterpart Emmanuel Macron said he was in daily contact with Trump, stating France has evidence that Assad's regime was behind the attack.
But British involvement in further military intervention is controversial at home, in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Formally, the prime minister has the right to go to war without approval from parliament, but a convention has been established in previous conflicts where lawmakers have a vote either before or shortly after military action begins.