In Brief

Theresa May 'plans vote on Syria air strikes if Tories win election'

Prime Minister reportedly ready to ask MPs to reverse 2013 vote if she wins a sizeable majority

Theresa May is reportedly considering calling parliament to vote on joining US air strikes in Syria if the Tories win a large enough majority in June's general election.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Prime Minister wants MPs to approve future action in the event of a chemical attack by President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

However, adds the paper, such a vote "will spark fears of mission creep, forcing Britain to suffer another Afghanistan and Iraq-type war".

At least 86 people were killed in a chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, in Idlib province, last month. Traces of a nerve agent similar to sarin were found in the blood of victims.

While Assad's forces denied responsibility, Donald Trump launched a retaliatory strike against a Syrian airbase.

The government is now convinced the Syrian leader was behind the attack, the Mirror says.

May would need to reverse the vote of 2013, when MPs ruled out military action against Assad following a previous alleged chemical attack, to approve the use of planes, warships and submarines.

While Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has indicated the government could carry out air strikes without parliament's backing, The Guardian says the Prime Minister would rather have its approval.

Johnson also said last week that he and May believe it would be "very difficult" for the UK to decline future requests from the US to join air strikes in the event of another chemical attack.

Britain is already aiding the US in military action in Syria and Iraq, with RAF warplanes hitting Islamic State targets in both countries, although the government has not yet participated in air strikes against the Assad regime.

May has made defence a key issue in her campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who in April said he would move to suspend air strikes in Syria and prioritise peace talks instead.

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