British prime minister David Cameron conceded that MPs would be given a second vote to approve military action to defuse a parliamentary revolt, ahead of a Commons debate on Syria on Thursday. UK sources insisted that the US, which had planned to launch the strikes by the weekend, had delayed, handing Cameron a lifeline, and revived a back-up plan to delay the strikes until Tuesday when Barack Obama is due to set out for the G20 summit in Russia.
In an effort to build support for punitive strikes, the US and UK will on Thursday publish a joint summary of the intelligence which they say points towards the Assad regime's responsibility for the poison gas attack of 21 August in Ghouta, eastern Damascus, that killed over 1,000 people.
In a reflection of the different political pressures pulling the transatlantic allies in different directions, Downing Street undertook to return to the security council in a renewed effort to secure a UN mandate for military action after Russia blocked a British resolution at an informal meeting in New York. But the US state department meanwhile insisted it saw "no avenue forward" at the UN for finding an international consensus for armed action, because of Russian support for Bashar al-Assad's regime.