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Official: UK military drawing up contingency plans on Syria

Published: Updated:

Britain’s armed forces are drawing up contingency plans for military action in response to last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesperson as saying on Tuesday.

Cameron will decide later on Tuesday whether to recall lawmakers from their summer break to debate possible military intervention, Downing Street said.

“We are continuing to discuss with our international partners what the right response should be, but, as part of this, we are making contingency plans for the armed forces,” AFP quoted the spokesperson as saying.

“This is about deterring the use of chemical weapons.”

Meanwhile, Britain will continue talks with other world leaders to agree on a “proportionate response” to the alleged chemical attack in a Damascus suburb, which killed hundreds of civilians.

The Guardian newspaper reported on Monday that “warplanes and military transporters have begun arriving at Britain’s Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus,” in preparation for a military strike against Syria.

However, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on Tuesday said the British bases on the island would not play a “substantial role” in any strikes against Syria.

He added that his government had “no official information whatsoever for any possible use of the military bases.”

The British army also denied reports of increased activity at one airfield.

A senior U.S. Defense Department official told CNN on Monday that four American navy destroyers “maintain readiness and, if required, could execute a mission within hours” of being ordered to do so.

(With AFP)