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Sturgeon calls for vote before any further Syria action

The First Minister said future military strikes must be sanctioned by UK Parliament.

The First Minister has said any fresh UK strikes against the Syrian regime should be put to a vote in the House of Commons.

New military action which "changes the terms of engagement of UK forces in Syria" should be sanctioned by the British Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said.

She also said the Western air strikes had seemed in part "a macho strongman stand-off" between US president Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin

She spoke to STV News on Sunday after expressing the previous day her fears of "dangerous escalation" after the UK, the US and France launched missile strikes against the Assad regime.

They did so after obtaining "proof" that poisonous gas was used last weekend in Douma, killing 41 civilians, an allegation Syria and its key ally in the region, Russia, denies.

Announcing the British role in the military action, Prime Minister Theresa May said there was "no practicable alternative to the use of force" to deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

Four Royal Air Force Tornados GR4s joined the air strikes, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a base 15 miles west of Homs.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1412434-sturgeon-fears-dangerous-escalation-as-uk-strikes-syria/ | default

Russia claims the alleged chemical attack in Douma was staged with the help of British intelligence, an accusation the UK Government has called "grotesque".

The Scottish First Minister said she had "no difficulty believing Assad is capable of launching a chemical weapons attack on his own population".

Sturgeon continued: "The question for me is do isolated air strikes help to alleviate the acute humanitarian suffering in Syria and do they take Syria a single step forward on the road to a long-standing, sustainable peace?

"Air strikes in the past haven't done that and nothing I've heard persuades me that these air strikes are going to do that this time.

"What is needed is a long-term, coherent, patient international effort to take Syria to peace."

She said the "isolated" military action "may make Western leaders feel as if they're doing something" but added that the air strikes seemed "more to do with a macho strongman stand-off between Presidents Trump and Putin rather than about aiding peace in Syria".

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1412239-parliament-must-approve-any-syria-air-strike-says-snp/ | default

The SNP leader said she would be consulting with the party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford about its options in Parliament.

She added: "Clearly the clock can't be turned back on what happened at the weekend.

"But I do think we need to look at options for gaining an assurance that if there is to be any further action that changes the terms of engagement of UK forces in Syria, that that is sanctioned by a vote in Parliament.

"So the SNP, in consultation if there is a willingness to do so with other parties, will be looking at the options that are open to us."

Also speaking to STV News, Scottish Conservative MP Andrew Bowie defended Theresa May's approach in ordering the military action.

The West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP said: "It's the convention in this country that that power is reserved to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

"They saw the evidence in front of them, they took the decision that they did, and Parliament are able to hold them to account after the event, as they will do tomorrow and I think that's right."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1412478-enough-is-enough-boris-johnson-defends-syria-air-strikes/ | default

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