Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn condemns Syria strikes as 'legally questionable'

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner
Faye Gross | 16 April, 2018, 01:36

The Labour leader hit out at this use of military action, insisting he does not believe United Kingdom strikes on Syria were legal.

"There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far thank heavens the Assad regime have not been so foolish as to launch another chemical weapons attack", he told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

"What we need in this country is something more robust like a War Powers Act so governments do get held to account by parliament for what they do in our name".

Boris Johnson today said failure to response to the Syrian regime's use of illegal chemical weapons against his own people would have undermined "civilised values".

The action following an alleged chemical-weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma on April 7 was condemned by several British opposition parties, who wanted parliament recalled.

John Woodcock and Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn, who has previously opposed military action in Syria, among other war zones, said he "can only countenance involvement in Syria if there is United Nations authority behind it".

David Cameron, May's predecessor, lost a parliamentary vote on air strikes against Assad's forces in 2013 when 30 Conservative politicians voted against action, with many Britons wary of entering another conflict after interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region.

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Downing Street said the cabinet had "agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged" and "on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime". "It's never pointless calling for that, anything that brings a cessation of the use of chemical weapons moves us nearer, if not totally to, a ceasefire and a reopening of the Geneva talks which has got to be the right way forward", he said. So if you want to help us stay truly independent, please think about subscribing.

But the Prime Minister said she had authorised the operation "because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

"The primary objective is to say no to the use of barbaric chemical weapons", he said.

Often when the British government decides on military action, the opposition offers its full support.

His comments come after the United States, United Kingdom and France fired early Saturday over 100 missiles into Syria according to the Syrian government, Russian Federation and the USA military.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he wants "incontrovertible proof" before blaming Russian Federation for the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

"The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed", Mr Corbyn said in a statement.

MPs are due to return to Westminster from the Easter recess on Monday - and a row is continuing between some MPs over whether a vote should take place in Parliament before any action is taken.

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