Britain should be ready to bomb Syria again if President Assad continues to use chemical weapons, says Defence Minister

Tobias Ellwood said “we don’t know” if the recent airstrikes were enough to stop him in the future.

He told Sunday Politics presenter Sarah Smith: “The wider point is, will this change behaviour? Of course we don’t know that.

“The best organisation, person, country to do that is Russia and Putin. And again, we find that wanting.”

Mr Ellwood said that “absolutely” Britain should intervene again if it was necessary.

He added: “The three criteria are; is Assad or the aggressor causing suffering, humanitarian suffering?

“Have all diplomatic avenues been exhausted? Yes. Six times we tried, six times the veto.

“Thirdly, can you actually cause a strike, a minimalist strike, which can also limit suffering?

“And we did that by hitting chemical weapons factories, not targeting let’s say palaces or Parliament buildings and so forth.

“If this happens again then absolutely, we should be prepared to step forward again.”

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