Warwick MP does not support Syria military action

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Matt Western is the Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has refused to support military action against Syria by the UK, France and US.

A statement from the MP on social media this weekend said: “The reports from Syria last weekend point to an horrific attack having been carried out using chemical weapons on the civilian population in Douma, in full contravention of international humanitarian law.

“Both the Assad regime and Isis have been held responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the past since the start of the Syrian conflict, a war crime which I totally condemn.

“In this context, I very much welcome the investigation being carried out there by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and call for their inspectors to have full access to the site.

“It is wrong for this attack to have been authorised before any independent report by either the OPCW or any renewed UN investigation. They are there for a reason and their findings particularly important given the absence of a unanimous UN Security Council resolution.

“For those reasons, and the very real threat of conflict escalation, I do not support the action by the UK, US and French Governments.

“At best it will be viewed as a gesture condemning the Syrian Government but its value is questionable as evidenced by the US intervention this time last year. Nothing changed.

“So it is extremely disappointing that the UK Government should have acted without reference to Parliament: this is a dangerous, punitive action without a strategy. More so, as it is also clear that there is some division in the US administration about the ‘sustainability’ of these attacks.

“This legally questionable action, as US defence secretary James Mattis has admitted, risks escalating further an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely.

“Further, it risks increasing the suffering of the Syrian people, including to the point of direct conflict between US and Russian forces.

“Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Twitter and putting British military personnel in harm’s way.

“The Government should do whatever is possible to push Russia and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.

“What is now urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire, de-escalation and a negotiated political settlement under UN auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.”

  • imustbeoldiwearacap

    The hypocrisy of May and her cabinet! Whilst cluster bombs rain in Syria and Yemen they do nothing but offer platitudes (and continue to sell arms to the combatants). “Conventional” bombing kills and maims just the same as chemical weapons – I’m sure the Syrians and Yemenis don’t cry out “please don’t bomb me with chemicals – I’d much rather die by being blown to pieces”.