Don’t Bomb Syria – Then What?

In recent days the UK Government, in consultation with the Trump administration and France but without asking the UK parliament, launched airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria. This was a mistake. Here’s why:

Assad has committed terrible crimes against the Syrian people and he should be made to answer for them. Limited airstrikes against his facilities move us no closer to peace though. His forces repaired the damage of last year’s US strikes in a matter of hours. To really stop his barbarity by force would require such comprehensive strikes that it would almost certainly kill Russian and Iranian forces embedded with the regime.

Risking conflict with Russia cannot be an option. It is clear that the path to peace in Syria is through forcing Moscow and Tehran to change their role. We cannot do that by force.

That why we’re calling for sweeping sanctions against the Kremlin and those associated with Putin. Ending Russian money laundering in the City of London and hitting Kremlin-linked oligarchs in the pocket is the most responsible and direct way not just to secure a just peace in Syria but to tackle the criminality rife in our financial sector.

Sanctions, not strikes, are the answer to these crimes against humanity.