STATEMENT ON SYRIA
Over the past few days many of my constituents have been in contact with me regarding my position on military action by the UK in Syria. I have endeavoured to get back to everyone individually on this matter and I will continue to do so, but to be clear; I, like the Leader of the Labour Party, will be opposing military action in Syria.
Syria is complex and the battlefield is crowded with competing ideologies and aims. At the heart of the conflict are civilians trapped in opposition-held areas who face regular bombardment by government forces with barrel bombs and artillery.
Syria is now unpopulated due to devastation caused by years of civil war. Still the battles continue:
- The assad government is mostly attacking civilians in areas controlled by the armed opposition while occasionally (MORE than occasionally, regularly) fighting ISIL
- The armed opposition is mostly fighting government troops while occasionally (and ISIL, there is no more joint operation at all, just a full blown war) fighting ISIL.
- ISIL fights whomever gets in the way of its mission to takeover more territory and enforce its interpretation of Islamic law.
Syria had a population of 22 million people in 2011 but after four years of civil war there's no way to know the real death toll. 12 million people or more than half the population have been forced from their homes. Close to eight million of them have sought refuge within Syria, three-and-a-half million are children.
In my humble opinion I believe the only intervention the UK should be offering is shelter, humanitarian aid & solidarity to those families that are seeking refuge in the UK or abroad.