British Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped up pressure on his allies for joint military intervention in Syria as a response.
Mr. Cameron had discussed the feasibility of launching missile strikes against Syrian targets with U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande on Sunday. In an interview published on his website on Sunday, Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke about the need for a “strong international response” to the alleged chemical weapons attack.The stridency with which Mr. Cameron is pursuing the military option is being seen as going beyond the usual rhetoric.
Several MPs, including from the Conservative Party, have asked for Parliament to be convened early to discuss the issue before any action takes place. Mr. Cameron cut short his holiday in Cornwall to return to London to chair a meeting of the National Security Council. U.S. naval forces in the Mediterranean have been reported to have moved closer to Syria, and a military strike is likely to be in the form of a missile attack. Mr. Cameron is reported to be willing, if his allies agree, to bypass the U.N. that is expected to endorse such military engagements before they are launched. The situation is reminiscent of the Iraq war in 2003, when military operations were launched by the U.S.-led coalition much before U.N. inspectors could determine if Saddam Hussein’s regime was in possession of weapons of mass destruction.