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Syria: Military Intervention

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL7011, tabled on 17 April 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government why they did not seek a mandate from the UN Security Council before taking military action against Syria in response to the chemical attack on Douma.

Answered on

30 April 2018

Russia’s repeated shielding of the Asad regime from investigation and censure by the UN Security Council meant further UN-sponsored action was not possible. On 10 April, Russia vetoed a draft Resolution that would have established an independent UN investigation. This follows their termination of the independent Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism last year after the appalling chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun. Russia has used its veto six times on the topic of chemical weapons use in Syria since the start of 2017. The military action undertaken by the UK was permitted under international law as set out in the government’s legal position, which can be viewed on the gov.uk website.