LONDON, April 7 U.S. Defence Secretary James
Mattis asked for Britain's view on whether Bashar al-Assad's
regime was responsible for a chemical attack in Syria before
Washington launched a missile attack on a Syrian airbase,
Britain's defence minister said on Friday.
In a sharp escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria,
two U.S. warships fired dozens of cruise missiles from the
eastern Mediterranean Sea at the airbase controlled by Assad's
forces in response to the poison gas attack in a rebel-held area
"The American defence secretary Jim Mattis consulted me
early yesterday evening about our assessment of the regime's
culpability for the chemical weapons attack and we reviewed the
need to understand and to deal with any likely Russian reactions
to the attack," Michael Fallon told BBC Television.
"He was then reviewing the different options to put before
the president, he then called me later on to advise us of the
president's decision and to give us notice of the attack and our
prime minister was kept informed throughout," he said.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Kate Holton)