THERESA May has faced both support and criticism from politicians across the UK after Britain launched strikes on Syria overnight alongside the US and France.

The Prime Minister said she judged the operation to be in Britain's national interest, adding that there was "no practicable alternative to the use of force".

It comes as a response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma a week ago.

Protesters stood outside the Carfax Tower in Oxford this afternoon, waving flags with the word 'peace' emblazoned across a rainbow backdrop.

The Oxford Times:

Peaceful protesters including Nigel Day, left

Among them was Nigel Day, a St Clements resident who is also a coordinator for Oxford Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The 71-year-old told the Oxford Mail he was 'horrified and angry' to wake up to news of the strikes.

He said: "Of course there was going to be reaction from the West, but my feeling is that this [violence] will not help at all, and will aggrevate things.

"We need to talk and actually resolve the situation. That's hard, I know, but I think what we are doing will make it worse.

"We need to use our diplomatic skills to negotiate."

He joined other critics for the peaceful protest in the city centre this afternoon. 

Mr Day added: "We just needed to have a presence and say what has happened is not in our name or in the people's name.

"We did it on behalf of all peace-loving people in Oxford."

In a statement about the strikes, the Prime Minister said: "We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised – within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world.

"We would have preferred an alternative path, but on this occasion there is none."

The attacks prompted mixed response from Oxfordshire's politicians.

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis tweeted Mrs May's statement, alongside her support. She said: "A sensible and measured statement from the PM."

Wantage and Didcot MP Ed Vaizey did not comment himself but also retweeted the PM's announcement, alongside a retweet from Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan which strongly backed the air strikes.

Former prime minister and Witney MP David Cameron was quick to air his views on Twitter, he said: "I firmly support the military action taken in Syria.

"The barbaric and intolerable use of chemical weapons should never go unchecked.

"As we have seen in the past, inaction has its consequences - so PM right to join forces with our allies to take targeted & appropriate action."

The Prime Minister's decision came despite demands from opposition parties that Parliament be consulted before any military action is launched.

MP for Oxford West and Abingdon Layla Moran has not yet commented via social media, but retweeted Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake who said: "Theresa May had no right to deploy British forces in Syria without Parliament's approval."

On Wednesday Ms Moran wrote on her Facebook page: "Seriously concerned that Theresa May will decide to go into Syria without a Parliamentary vote.

"The pictures of those children seared my mind.

"A clear line has been crossed. But no blank cheque."

Labour's MP for Oxford East Anneliese Dodds has not yet signalled either her support or opposition for a move many feel is unfortunate but necessary in the face of shocking human rights abuses.

The US said strikes had been launched 2am UK time, and had destroyed important infrastructure at three sites connected with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme.

The Prime Minister said she would go before the Commons on Monday to answer questions about her decision.