Jeremy Corbyn accuses Theresa May of bowing to Trump on Syria

Fighter jets were seen taking off from a British Royal Air Force base in Cyprus early on Saturday

Fighter jets were seen taking off from a British Royal Air Force base in Cyprus early on Saturday Credit AP

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Government of "waiting for instructions" from USA president Donald Trump on what to do over Syria.

Mr. Corbyn said that rather than a military action, what was needed was a coordinated global drive for a ceasefire and a negotiated UN-led settlement.

He wrote: "The UK Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament, not the whims of a US President".

Downing Street yesterday betrayed its nervousness over the legal basis for the strike by publishing the advice of Government lawyers.

The No 10 paper said the United Kingdom met three demands under global law - that there is convincing evidence of extreme humanitarian distress, there is no practicable alternative to the use of force, and the action is necessary and proportionate - had been met.

"Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace", the Labour leader said in a withering statement about the strikes, which he labelled "legally questionable".

"Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm's way".

He added: "The Government should do whatever possible to push Russian Federation and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account".

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Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's Labour Party, speaks at the launch of their local election campaign, in London, April 9, 2018. "These strikes are about deterring the barbaric use of chemical weapons in Syria and beyond".

It follows his initial reaction to the bombing, when he was joined by Vince Cable and Nicola Sturgeon in questioning the Prime Minister's decision to move forward without a parliamentary vote.

Often when the British government decides on military action, the opposition offers its full support.

Outside her Downing Street residence, meanwhile, peace campaigners rallied, calling on the government not to attack the Middle Eastern country, where the Bashar al-Assad government has been at war with Islamist insurgents for seven years.

She added: "This action risks not just further escalating the civil war in Syria but also a unsafe escalation of global tensions".

The largest U.S. air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war was said to be heading towards Syria, according to reports in The Times, paving the way for strikes within the next three days.

She said: "The speed with which we are acting is essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations".

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

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