UK opts out of Syria war, but France still backs US

France said on Friday it still backed military action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for an apparent poison gas attack and Washington pushed ahead with plans for a response despite a British House of Commons vote against a military strike.
An aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a close Assad ally, seized on Thursday’s British “no” vote, saying it reflected wider European worries about the dangers of a military response.
US defence secretary Chuck Hagel said his country will keep seeking an international coalition to act together on Syria, where hundreds of people were killed in last week’s chemical attacks. But any military strike looks unlikely at least until UN investigators report back after they leave Syria Saturday.
The timing of any strikes may be complicated by US President Barack Obama’s departure late Tuesday for Sweden and a G-20 summit in Russia. He is unlikely to order strikes while in Sweden or Russia.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said, meanwhile, he regretted Parliament’s failure to back military action in Syria, but hoped Mr Obama would understand the need to listen to the people’s wishes. “I don’t think I have to apologise,” he said in a television interview.

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