Cameron, who has been aligned with President Obama in advocating a tough response, indicated after the vote that he would abide by the outcome. The measure was narrowly defeated, by 285 votes to 272 votes.
The outcome raises serious questions for Obama, who has not yet made a decision on the way forward in Syria but had indicated his administration would need international support for any strike. After failing to win support for an anti-Assad resolution before the U.N. Security Council, U.S. officials were looking to allies like Britain and France to build a coalition for action in Syria.
The White House said after the vote that it would continue to assess its options on Syria.
“The U.S. will continue to consult with the U.K. Government – one of our closest Allies and friends. As we’ve said, President Obama’s decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States,” said National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.
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