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The government motion, calling for “a strong humanitarian response from international society” including military action, was defeated by 272 votes to 285.
A call for a military response in Syria came after an alleged chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital of Damascus that the US and UK said the Syrian government was behind.
Damascus strongly denied the accusation.
Prime Minister David Cameron said it was clear that “the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action.”
Cameron said that he understood and that the “government will act accordingly”.
French President Francois Hollande said Friday that a UK vote against military intervention would not change France’s resolve to take action.
Labour leader Ed Miliband called on the prime minister to confirm he would not use the royal prerogative to order Britain to take part in military action before another vote in Parliament.
Cameron said that he believed in a “tough response” to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, but said he would respect the will of Parliament.
A White House statement said that the US would “continue to consult” with Britain over Syria, but added that President Barack Obama’s decision would be “guided by what is in the best interests of the United States”.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad said Thursday his country would defend itself against any foreign “aggression”, according to state media.