Thu Apr 27, 2017 01:15PM
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said the UK will likely join the US in military action against Syria if asked by US President Donald Trump.

Johnson said Thursday it would be "very difficult to say no" if Washington sought London’s help for a military mission against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over chemical weapons use.

“If the Americans were once again to be forced by the actions of the Assad regime ... and they ask us to help it would be very difficult to say no,” Johnson said.

The top UK diplomat said the UK government won’t wait for Parliament’s vote on such a move. He added that British Prime Minister Theresa May will decide what course of action London would take.

Parliament will be dissolved next week ahead of Britain's June 8 election, so lawmakers would not be able to vote on a request for military assistance before then.

“How exactly we were able to implement that would be for the government, for the prime minister," he added.

Earlier this month, a suspected chemical attack targeted the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province, which reportedly killed over 80 people and injured dozens more.

Trump ordered a military attack on a Syrian airbase in Homs province in western Syria just a day after the alleged attack.

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The administration of former US President Barack Obama also accused the Syrian military of conducting chemical attacks in 2013. Syria turned its entire chemical arsenal over to international monitors under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States in 2013.

In the same year, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron failed to obtain British lawmakers permission to launch airstrikes against Syria. Cameron had accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons at the time.

Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. Russia has been assisting the Syrian army in its counter-terrorism operations.