British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has decided to put a brake on British involvement in an immediate military strike against Syria.
According to the Independent, this change of heart was forced by Labour’s decision to break ranks with the Prime Minister’s decision ahead of the crucial vote on the decision (to attack) coming up later in Parliament.
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has pleaded for more time for its inspectors to conclude investigations into last week’s chemical weapons attack killing hundreds of civilians, thereby putting Barack Obama under tremendous pressure to delay’s America’s military campaign.
“Let them conclude their work for four days and then we will have to analyse scientifically with experts. Then I think we will have to report to the Security Council for any action,” he said.
Labour toughened its stance against UK military action only a day after Ed Miliband signalled that the Opposition was likely to support Mr Cameron. Last night it demanded six concessions as the price of supporting him tonight – including a UN Security Council vote on the inspectors’ report.
Labour also wants further report to the Commons and a second vote before Britain takes part in any military action; “compelling evidence” that the Assad regime was responsible for last week’s attack and a “clear basis in international law” for intervention.
Labour warned it would vote against the Government unless its conditions were met and Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, said: “We are not prepared to issue a blank cheque to the Prime Minister.”
The Opposition’s change of tune could help delay the expected strikes against Syria, although President Obama could still decide to go ahead without British involvement. There had been speculation that UK forces could join an attack as early as this weekend but that now looks unlikely.