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Published by NYTimes.com

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain issued the following statement on her nation’s participation in the strikes on Syria:

This evening I have authorized British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use. We are acting together with our American and French allies.

The statement continued:

And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack. This persistent pattern of behavior must be stopped — not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons. We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this.

But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack. So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime. This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change. It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties. And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity.

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