LONDON—British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a preliminary vote on Syria, an early sign of the pushback Western governments may face as they prepare to launch an attack.
Thursday evening’s vote was nonbinding, but in practice the rejection of military strikes means Mr. Cameron’s hands are tied. In a terse statement to Parliament, Mr. Cameron said it was clear to him that the British people did not want to see military action.
Facing vocal opposition from politicians and the public, Mr. Cameron had told parliament earlier that military action was justified on humanitarian grounds and the need to prevent the use of chemical weapons in Syria. He said the case for action wasn’t about taking sides in the Syrian conflict or about changing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
British lawmakers have rejected a Labor amendment on that would have authorized the United Kingdom’s intervention in Syria.
Cameron loses parliament’s support on Syria
On the motion of authorization for military intervention in Syria, the government lost the vote by a margin of 285 votes to 272.
Cameron said he would respect their decision and not order an attack, according to the Guardian.
UK Parliament Rejects Syria War Same Day that Poll Shows that Only 8% of Britons Support Syria War
UK Backs Away from War
British Parliament has rejected war against Syria.
David Cameron’s claims that the Syrian government carried out the recent chemical weapons attack has been shown to have been built on sand.
Obama Willing to Pursue Solo Syria Strikes, Aides Say
WASHINGTON — President Obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria, administration officials said on Thursday, even with a rejection of such action by Britain’s Parliament, an increasingly restive Congress, and lacking an endorsement from the United Nations Security Council.
Although the officials cautioned that Mr. Obama had not made a final decision, all indications suggest that the strike could occur as soon as United Nations inspectors, who are investigating the Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds of Syrians, leave the country. They are scheduled to depart Damascus, the capital, on Saturday.
The White House is to present its case for military action against Syria to Congressional leaders on Thursday night. Administration officials assert that the intelligence will show that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad carried out the chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus.
The intelligence does not tie Mr. Assad directly to the attack, officials briefed on the presentation said, but the administration believes that it has enough evidence to carry out a limited strike that would deter the Syrian government from using these weapons again.