August 29, 2013 / 10:47 PM / 4 years ago

Defence minister: Britain won't take part in Syrian military action

Britain's Chief of the defence staff, Nick Houghton (L) and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond arrive for a cabinet meeting at Number 10 Downing Street in London August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters) - Defence 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 programme.

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.”

Reporting By Andrew Osborn; Editing by Philip Barbara

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