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UK defense minister: Britain won't take part in Syrian military action

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29, 2013 10:55 PM GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said on Thursday that Britain would not take part in any military action against Syria after the government unexpectedly lost a vital parliamentary vote on the issue.

"I hoped we would carry the argument but we understand there is a deep well of suspicion about involvement in the Middle East," Hammond told BBC TV's Newsnight program.

The United States, a key ally, would be disappointed that Britain "will not be involved," he added, but said: "I don't expect that the lack of British participation will stop any action."

(Reporting By Andrew Osborn; Editing by Philip Barbara)

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