Harper Says Canada Not Planning Military Move in Syria

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government has no plans for a military mission against Syria and he’ll support action taken by allies including the U.S. and the U.K.

Harper, speaking to reporters in Toronto, said he’s a “reluctant convert” to the idea that a military strike in Syria is necessary because what appears to be the use of chemical weapons is a “dangerous precedent” that requires a strong reaction.

“We do support our allies who are contemplating forceful action to deal with this,” Harper said, adding that at present, “we have no plans of our own to have a Canadian military mission.”

The prospect of an imminent attack on Syria faded as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron struggled to win parliamentary backing for military strikes that critics said echoed the push to war in Iraq.

Britain released an assessment showing it “highly likely” the Syrian government was behind the mass killing of civilians with chemical weapons on Aug. 21 near Damascus.

Cameron bowed to opposition demands to await a judgment by on-site United Nations inspectors. A UN mission will continue to inspect the site of the chemical attack tomorrow and leave Syria by early Aug. 31, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Vienna today.

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