Trump talks with British, French leaders over strikes on Syria

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She said speed was essential and that military action was in the national interest.

In a statement, Mrs May said: "The Syrian regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the most cruel and abhorrent way".

Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to London, said the White Helmets, a British-funded civil defense force, were responsible for staging fake chemical attacks.

The three countries said the strikes were limited to Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

Britain has blamed Russian Federation for the poisoning - a charge vehemently denied by Moscow which has accused London of failing to come up with evidence for its claims. They blame Assad's government for the attack.

"Initial indications are that the precision of the Storm Shadow weapons and meticulous target planning have resulted in a successful attack", it said.

The ministry said the facility was "a former missile base... where the regime is assessed to keep chemical weapon precursors".

"The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk", it added.

May, whose leadership has been questioned after scandals, divisions over Brexit and an ill-judged election that lost her party its majority in parliament, has found support from other global leaders for backing action against Syria.

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Polls in recent days have shown public wariness of military intervention in Syria, with Britain still haunted by its participation in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Mr Trump said the military action was a "combined operation" with the armed forces of the United Kingdom and France.

They also discussed the need to reinvigorate multinational stabilization efforts in Syria to ensure the long-term defeat of Islamic State (IS).

Former prime minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote on air strikes against Assad's forces in 2013 when 30 Conservative lawmakers voted against action, with many Britons wary of entering another conflict after interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, had on Friday accused the government of "waiting for instructions" from US President Donald Trump on what to do over Syria.

Following the air strikes, there was criticism from some opposition MPs.

"There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far, thank heavens, the Assad regime have not been so foolish as to launch another chemical weapons attack", he told the Andrew Marr show.

"Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump", Corbyn said.

Correspondents from the British and world press also asked the prime minister to explain what role can the Parliament play in making a decision to attack another sovereign country.

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