British Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK and Western allies are considering a “serious response” to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“If we stand idly by we set a very dangerous precedent indeed, where brutal dictators and brutal rulers will feel they can get away with using chemical weapons on a larger and larger scale in the future,” Cameron said in a statement.
“So what we’re considering is a serious response to that. What we are not considering is regime change, trying to topple the Assad regime, trying to settle the civil war in Syria one way or another,” Cameron added.
He said the conflict in Syrian needs to be settled through a political process, ruling out an open-ended military intervention with boots on the ground like what happened in Iraq.
“What is being considered are measures which are legal, which are proportionate and which are specific to discouraging and sending out a clear signal that use of chemical weapons in this day and age is simply intolerable,” Cameron said.
Cameron’s spokesperson earlier said Britain’s armed forces are drawing up contingency plans for military action in response to last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, according to AFP.
“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.”
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.
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