President Trump has announced that there is an upcoming attack on Syria, forcing U.S. allies in Europe to decide whether they too will strike the Bashar Assad regime.
Trump backed off suggestions Wednesday that a missile launch was imminent, though the delay may put him in closer coordination with countries such as the U.K.
British media reported that Prime Minister Theresa May had called her cabinet back from vacation to discuss a response to alleged chemical attacks by Assad in Douma, which Syria and its ally Russia deny.
Both the BBC and Financial Times reported that she is likely to decide on military action without a vote from Parliament, which approves use of force and has previously stopped strikes such as when then leader David Cameron asked for them in 2013.
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition, says that a vote is necessary and bombing could lead to a hot war between the U.S. and Russia, which has promised to answer any strikes.
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It is not clear what authority Trump is planning to use for the strikes as the current authorizations stem from the Iraq War and the Bush administration “War on Terror,” though he previously ordered a similar move last year.
Germany is part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State in the region, but will not participate in any strikes on the Assad regime, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video statement on Thursday.
She said that she would support any effort to show that the use of chemical weapons is "unacceptable."
French President Emmanuel Macron, whose forces are also in the U.S.-led coalition, told broadcaster TF1 that his government had proof that Assad was behind the attacks, which the World Health Organization says killed more than 40 people and affected 500 with poisoning symptoms.
He did not explain what the evidence was, and said that he was still deciding whether France would participate in any attack, which would not require parliamentary approval.
Trump's Twitter threat, where he said that “nice and new and ‘smart’” missiles were coming for Syria, added another twist to U.S. conversations with allies in Britain and France.
The President has been pushing his counterparts to respond with more force than last year, according to CNN, which reported that no decision had been made when Trump fired off his Wednesday tweet.