May said while the strike was targeted at Syria, it sent a message to anyone who used chemical weapons. President Donald Trump also ordered strikes about the same time previous year, also in response to reported chemical weapon usage.
"We are confident in our own assessment that the Syrian regime was highly likely responsible for this attack and that its persistent pattern of behaviour meant that it was highly likely to continue using chemical weapons".
"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".
"For we can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere".
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, described the military action as "legally questionable" and said it should have been authorised by parliament.
They argue the Government has been trying to block the debate all weekend and, as the party in government, has the power to set Government business without asking the Speaker for an emergency debate.
Image: An RAF Tornado taxis into its hangar in Cyprus after completing its mission.
"We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this", the prime minister said. Indeed, we have been calling for Parliament to be recalled since last Wednesday.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote on air strikes against Assad's forces in 2013 when 30 Conservative lawmakers voted against action, with many Britons wary of entering another conflict after intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region.
When asked if Syria's Assad could remain leader as long as he refrained from further use of chemical weapons, May said: "This was about, as I have said and you have recognized, this was specifically about the use of chemical weapons". "We believe that the strikes we have taken last night had a significant impact in terms of what the Syrian regime can do in the future".
She added that she would address parliament on Monday.
May is not obliged to win parliament's approval before ordering military action, but a non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been established since a 2003 vote on joining the USA -led invasion of Iraq.
"There is broad based global support for the action we have taken", she will say.
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