The Labour leader claimed the US action “risks escalating the war in Syria still further” putting him at odds with many of his MPs who back the military intervention.
Last night, President Trump ordered a barrage of cruise missiles to be unleashed on a Syrian air base in retaliation for dictator Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people.
At least 70 people, many of them children, were killed in the horror attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, on Tuesday as Syria’s bloody civil war enters its seventh year.
Many of the victims were shown in footage choking and foaming at the mouth in symptoms consistent with exposure to nerve agents.
The US strike was conducted against the Syrian government base from which the chemical attack is believed to be conducted.
The action has been supported by Downing Street and a number of MPs from all parties.
Jeremy Corbyn opposes Donald Trump's action in Syria Trump launches military strike against Syria Fri, April 7, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles against Syria in response to its chemical attack on its own civilians
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Trump ordered a massive military strike against a Syria
But Mr Corbyn, who has consistently spoken out against Western military intervention in the Middle East, declined to support President Trump’s decision.
He also appeared to question whether Assad was reponsible for the chemical attack.
In a statement released many hours after news of the strike broke, the Labour leader said: “The US missile attack on a Syrian government air base risks escalating the war in Syria still further.
“Tuesday’s horrific chemical attack was a war crime which requires urgent independent UN investigation and those responsible must be held to account.
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“But unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification risks intensifying a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people.
“What is needed instead is to urgently reconvene the Geneva peace talks and unrelenting international pressure for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.
“The terrible suffering of the Syrian people must be brought to an end as soon as possible and every intervention must be judged on what contribution it makes to that outcome.
“The British government should urge restraint on the Trump administration and throw its weight behind peace negotiations and a comprehensive political settlement."
The limited, targeted action taken against Syrian air assets today was morally justifiable in response to a crime against humanity… (1/2)
— Angela Eagle (@angelaeagle) April 7, 2017
The US missile attack on a Syrian government air base risks escalating the war in Syria still further.
Mr Corbyn is now in dispute with his deputy leader Tom Watson and many Labour MPs on the issue.
Earlier, Mr Watson backed the strikes as “a direct and proportionate response to a clear violation of international law by the Syrian regime”.
Former shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who was sacked by Mr Corbyn last summer, also appeared to support the US action.
He posted on Twitter: “Let's hope Syria will now think twice before deciding to gas its own people again. Priority must be humanitarian assistance for civilians.”
Former Labour leadership candidate Mary Creagh said the Government was “right” to support President Trump’s decision, expressing her hope it “ends Assad’s impunity”.
Angela Eagle, the Labour MP who sparked last summer's leadership challenge against Mr Corbyn, said: "The limited, targeted action taken against Syrian air assets today was morally justifiable in response to a crime against humanity and compliant with our responsibility to protect.
"Inaction has a cost in lives too."
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Fellow Labour MP Pat McFadden said: “Syrian use of chemical weapons went unanswered in 2013. It could not go unanswered again. No regime should do that to its own people.”
Brendan Cox, the widow of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, said his late wife would have supported the strike on Assad’s regime.
He posted on Twitter: “Jo wld have backed action to punish Syrian govt for gas attacks. She would urge that this be the start of a strategy to protect civilians.”
Let's hope Syria will now think twice before deciding to gas its own people again. Priority must be humanitarian assistance for civilians.
— Hilary Benn (@hilarybennmp) April 7, 2017
But the Stop the War Coalition, a group Mr Corbyn chaired for four years before standing down on his election as Labour leader, condemned President Trump’s action and called for protests against the missile strikes outside Downing Street tonight.
Mr Corbyn’s close political ally Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, is a patron of Stop the War.
The Green Party also spoke out against the US action in Syria.
Co-leader and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “It is deeply concerning that President Trump took this action without the permission of Congress and it is now of the upmost importance that Prime Minister Theresa May calls on him to help build some kind of international consensus around what happens next.
“I also urge her to remember that the UK must not commit to any military involvement in Syria without a vote in Parliament, and to confirm whether or not she is talking with Russia about the role they can play in bringing this conflict to an end."