UK’s May to talk to Trump on suspected chemical attack in Syria

The United States plans to call for a UN Security Council vote on Tuesday on a proposal for a new inquiry into responsibility for use of chemical weapons in Syria.

FILE: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: @10DowningStreet/Twitter.

LONDON - British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would talk to US President Donald Trump later on Tuesday about a suspected chemical attack in Syria.

“I’ll be continuing to talk with our allies and partners as I have done, speaking to President Macron this morning, and I’ll be speaking to President Trump later today,” she told reporters in Cambridgeshire in eastern England.

When asked whether Britain would join the United States if Washington decided on a further military action in Syria, May declined to answer the question directly but said: “We believe that those responsible should be held to account.”

May said she would chair a meeting of Britain’s National Security Council later on Tuesday.

“This attack that took place in Douma is a barbaric attack. Obviously, we are working urgently with our allies and partners to assess what has happened on the ground,” she said.

A description on chlorine, mustard gas, sarin and VX used in conflicts around the world. Picture: AFP

Four of the deadliest chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere. Picture: AFP.

The United States plans to call for a UN Security Council vote on Tuesday on a proposal for a new inquiry into responsibility for use of chemical weapons in Syria after reports of a poison gas attack on a rebel-held town, diplomats said.

After Trump warned on Monday that there would be a “big price to pay” for the suspected attack over the weekend, the United States circulated to the 15-member council a revised draft resolution to establish an international inquiry, which it initially suggested on 1 March.

If the US text, which was seen by Reuters, is put to a vote, diplomats said it would likely be vetoed by Syrian ally Russia. A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, Britain or the United States to pass.