World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.K. “utterly condemns” the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance, May said, echoing earlier British comments over the Douma incident.
May’s comments came at a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen in Copenhagen during a visit.
May condemned the “barbaric” targeting of innocent civilians, including children in the suspected chemical attack that killed dozens of people according to reports.
Assad regime forces struck targets in the Damascus suburb’s Douma district on Saturday midnight using a poisonous gas, which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to the White Helmets, a local civil defense agency.
“If they are found to be responsible, the regime and its backers, including Russia, must be held to account,” she said, underlining that Russia has blocked investigative mechanisms by vetoing such steps at the UN Security Council.
“This must stop,” she said.
Upon questions whether the U.K. would back a military option against the Syrian regime, May said: “What we are urgently doing with our allies is assessing what has taken place.”
“Obviously, if this is a chemical weapons attack of the sort the initial reports suggest that it is, this is another example of the Assad regime’s brutality and the brazen way in which they have ignored the interests of their people.”
May also said Moscow should “look very carefully at the position they have taken.”
Earlier on Monday, the Downing Street said in a statement that the U.K. was “working with its allies to come up with a rapid and unified response to the apparent chemical weapons attack.”
A government spokesman said the U.K. would consider “a range of options” if the use of chemical weapons in Syria is verified, revealing no further details on what those options might be.
On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 which called for a month-long cease-fire in Syria, especially in Eastern Ghouta to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Despite the resolution, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive backed by Russian air power aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of Eastern Ghouta.
Home to some 400,000 people, the suburb has remained the target of a crippling regime siege for the last five years.
Earlier this month, a UN commission of inquiry released a report accusing the regime of committing war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.