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British Prime Minister Theresa May, facing a rowdy session of parliament on Monday, defended her decision to join USA -led missile strikes against Syria without first seeking parliament's authorisation.

But in a sign that the government feels under pressure, one lawmaker said on condition of anonymity that the party's whips, charged with maintaining voting discipline, had made clear that Conservatives should vote with the government. May has emphasised that the strikes were "limited" to only target Damascus's chemical weapons programme. "And it was a decision which required the evaluation of intelligence and information much of which was of a nature that could not be shared with parliament", she said.

Now, she is enjoying an unusual spell of worldwide support for her action in Syria and her stance against Moscow over a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain. She said no rebel forces had access to helicopters, which are usually used to deliver the barrel bombs in which the chemicals were reported to have been delivered.

After accusations that Britain was simply following the lead of the U.S. in the strikes against Assad, May said: "We have not done this because President Trump asked us to do so".

Sites near Damascus and Homs were hit on Saturday by the US, French and United Kingdom in response to the alleged chemical attack on Douma on April 7.

"Let me be absolutely clear: we have acted because it is in our national interest to do so". They insisted it was executed with "the sole objective to prevent further use of chemical weapons and chemical substances as weapons by the Syrian regime to kill its own people".

She told MP's "we can't go back to a world where chemical weapons are normalised" and the' fact that such an atrocity can take place is a stain on our society'.

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"We have not done this because President Trump asked us to do so", May said.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, called the airstrikes "legally questionable" and accused May of "following Donald Trump's lead".

OPCW inspectors are now on a fact-finding mission to assert if chemical weapons were used against the Syrian people in an attack last month.

But she avoided answering questions on her future strategy for Syria, on whether parliament would be consulted on any further strikes and ignored demands by Corbyn for a War Powers Act to limit the government's power to launch military action.

"There is no more serious issue than the life and death matters of military action", he said on Monday. "It is right that parliament has the power to support or stop the government from taking planned military action", he said.

A series of lawmakers from Corbyn's Labour Party broke ranks with their leader to tell May that they backed the military action and pleaded with her to allow more refugees from Syria to travel to Britain.

Even some MPs who supported Mrs May's decision to order strikes expressed frustration that Parliament was by-passed, our correspondent added.


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