UK Pushes Back Against More Syria Strikes as US Talks Tough


U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted that the strike against Syria’s alleged chemical arms infrastructure was a one-time move, even as the U.S. signaled it’s ready to punish the Middle Eastern country again if it keeps using banned weapons.

Johnson told the BBC that there was “no proposal on the table” for further strikes. Hours earlier, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that her country is “locked and loaded” for another attack if necessary.

Boris Johnson speaks on April 15.

Photographer: Jeff Overs/BBC

“The overwhelming purpose, the mission was to send a message,” Johnson said. “Finally the world has said enough is enough.” He conceded that this meant “the rest of the Syrian war must proceed as it will” and that Bashar Al-Assad would be allowed to “butcher his way” to victory.

With Prime Minister Theresa May due to face critics in Parliament on Monday, Johnson’s comments highlighted the strains even Friday night’s limited offensive produced for the trans-Atlantic allies after years of struggle in Afghanistan and Iraq. If May were to seek a mandate for a wider intervention, she’d risk the defeat that her predecessor David Cameron suffered over the same issue in 2013.

In Arab markets, the signs that the Syria attack wasn’t going to lead to a wider fallout saw stocks advance on Sunday. Dubai’s main equity gauge climbed the most since July, and 99 percent of companies in Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index rose.

In the U.S. the reception seems to have been positive. Trump’s approval rating rose to 40 percent, the highest level this year, in a poll by ABC News and the Washington Post.

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