published Thursday, August 29th, 2013

U.K. leader David Cameron loses preliminary vote on Syria

In this image taken from video, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, center, speaks during a Syria debate in Britain's parliament in London on Thursday August 29, 2013.
In this image taken from video, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, center, speaks during a Syria debate in Britain's parliament in London on Thursday August 29, 2013.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron has lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes, a stunning defeat for a government which had seemed days away from joining the U.S. in possible attacks to punish Bashar Assad's regime over an alleged chemical weapons attack.

Thursday evening's vote was nonbinding, but in practice the rejection of military strikes means Cameron's hands are tied. In a terse statement to Parliament, Cameron said it was clear to him that the British people did not want to see military action.

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