In what Reuters calls a humiliating defeat, British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote meant to have Britain join in any potential military strike on Syria.
The vote “appeared to all but rule out British involvement in such action,” according to reports.
In a humiliating and unexpected development, Cameron and his coalition government failed to pass a motion that would have authorised military action against Syria in principle by 285 to 272 votes.
Cameron said afterwards he would not override the will of parliament and approve military action, saying it was clear that lawmakers did not want to see a military strike on the Syrian government to punish it for an illegal chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus last week.
With the U.K. out, those in favor of striking at Syria may find themselves looking to Barack Obama, who isn’t viewed as strong or decisive on international affairs, to lead any such effort.