United Kingdom hit a specific and limited set of targets in Syria: May

May of Britain this week. Credit Niklas Halle'N  Agence France Presse — Getty Images

She added that she would address parliament on Monday.

The group said it "strongly condemned" the action and accused May of "sanctioning killing" at Trump's behest.

US President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation yesterday of imminent military action in Syria, declaring that missiles "will be coming" and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The government's legal position, drawn up with the advice of the attorney-general, Jeremy Wright, and presented to cabinet ministers last Wednesday, said force was justified to alleviate "overwhelming humanitarian suffering".

When asked if Syria's Assad could remain leader as long as he refrained from further use of chemical weapons, May said: "This was about, as I have said and you have recognized, this was specifically about the use of chemical weapons".

The ministry said the facility was "a former missile base... where the regime is assessed to keep chemical weapon precursors".

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"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

Britain's defense ministry said "very careful scientific analysis" had been applied to maximize the destruction of stockpiled chemicals while minimizing any risk of contamination to surrounding areas.

"The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk", it added.

But shadow attorney general Baroness Chakrabarti questioned the Government's justification for the air strikes, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "You can't use force under worldwide law just to punish Syria for bad behaviour".

May is not obliged to win parliament's approval before ordering military action, but a non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been established since a 2003 vote on joining the USA -led invasion of Iraq.

But US Ambassador to the United Nationals Nikki Haley has said her country is "locked and loaded" to strike Syria again if more such attacks continue.

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also warned that the air strikes "risk further escalating an already unsafe situation".

Britain continues to support the US-led coalition targeting IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and has conducted more than 1,700 strikes.

Stewart McDonald of the Scottish National Party said: "The PM has engaged United Kingdom forces in gesture bombing, with no major global consensus and no long term plan to halt the use of chemical weapons or deliver peace".

Following the air strikes, there was criticism from some opposition MPs.

"Most worrying, is that she has acted at the behest of presidential tweets and sidelined parliament", he said.

"Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump".

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