British Prime Minister David Cameron Loses Parliamentary Vote On Syria

Source: Anne Gearan / The Washington Post

Prime Minister David Cameron lost a preliminary vote in Parliament late Thursday on intervention in Syria, as the Obama administration prepared to present to Congress its intelligence case on the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

The British parliamentary vote marked a stunning defeat for Cameron’s government. It came as political objections to a U.S.-led military response increased in the United States and Britain.

The White House has not sought to hide a push toward missile strikes following the Aug. 21 alleged mass gassing of that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians. The United States, Britain and others have placed blame for the attack squarely on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The focus of that push shifted Thursday to politics, as lawmakers of both parties urged caution and Britain and France said they preferred to wait for the results of a United Nations investigation in Syria. An initial British intelligence report pinning blame on Assad appeared to sway few doubters.

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