UK defense minister: Britain won’t take part in Syrian military action

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said on Thursday that Britain would not take part in any military action against Syria after the government unexpectedly lost a vital parliamentary vote on the issue.

“I hoped we would carry the argument but we understand there is a deep well of suspicion about involvement in the Middle East,” Hammond told BBC TV’s Newsnight program.

The United States, a key ally, would be disappointed that Britain “will not be involved,” he added, but said: “I don’t expect that the lack of British participation will stop any action.”

2013-08-29T224445Z_1_CBRE97S1R7D00_RTROPTP_3_BRITAIN UK defense minister: Britain won't take part in Syrian military action

U.S. will consult with Britain despite Syria vote: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will decide on a response to chemical weapons use in Syria based on U.S. interests, but Washington will continue to consult with Britain after its parliament rejected a motion supporting military action, the White House said on Thursday.

“We have seen the result of the parliament vote in the UK tonight. The U.S. will continue to consult with the UK government – one of our closest allies and friends,” said White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden in a statement.

“President Obama’s decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States. He believes that there are core interests at stake for the United States and that countries who violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need to be held accountable,” she said.