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London: UK could still launch strikes on Syria without U.N. approval

Published: Updated:

Britain would still be permitted under international law to take military action against Syria even if such a move is blocked by the U.N. Security Council, according to legal advice published Thursday.

The government said the advice states that the legal basis for any such action would be “humanitarian intervention” and “if action in the Security Council is blocked, the UK would still be permitted under international law to take exceptional measures.”

The statement comes in light of Britain’s intelligence committee saying evidence shows it is “highly likely” that the Syrian government was behind last week’s chemical attack.

Despite such statements, Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans for an imminent military strike on Syria were in disarray on Thursday after a revolt by lawmakers warning him to heed the “lessons of Iraq.”

After imploring the world not to stand idly by over Syria’s suspected use of chemical weapons, Cameron was forced into an awkward climb down on Wednesday when the opposition Labour party and lawmakers in his own party said they wanted more evidence before voting for military action.

(With AFP and Reuters)