UK Opposition Leader sets out Syria anti-airstrike argument

30th Nov 2015
UK Opposition Leader sets out Syria anti-airstrike argument
LONDON (AA) – “Think through this whole thing; there is no second plan, there is no effective ground force to back it up.”

This was the view of the leader of the U.K.’s main opposition party, who remains opposed to British plans to launch military action in Syria.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday where he set out his reasons for opposing Syria air strikes:

“We will be relying on groups in the Free Syrian Army apparently, who are hundreds of miles away, whose main interest is fighting [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad anyway,” Corbyn said.

“Look what will happen if we bomb Raqqa,” he added, claiming there would be huge civilian casualties if the city – a center of operations for Daesh – was hit.

Corbyn also stated that the U.K. government’s argument on Syria is not consistent, accusing it of “changing sides” from two years ago.

However, Corbyn’s Labour Party, which has not announced its position on Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans, is publicly divided on the issue.

Asked if Labour MPs would be given a free vote on Syria, Corbyn said no decision had been made:

“I understand dissent, I understand disagreement in leadership. I talk to people who do not agree with me, I talk to people who agree with me. I am respectful of differences in opinion within our party,” he said.

Labour Leader Corbyn wrote a letter setting out his reasons for not supporting air strikes in Syria for Labour MPs. The decision will be made on Monday.

U.K. defense minister Michael Fallon also answered questions regarding the government’s strategy. Fallon has been briefing Labour MPs over the weekend to win their support in a Commons vote.

“We would like to have a vote for military action. We’ve got to keep building the case. The PM advanced the case in parliament on Thursday. You could see opinion beginning to shift,” Fallon said.

 
Author: Büşra Akın Dinçer
[Photo: Protest against bombing of Syria near Downing St, London on 28 November 2015. Photographer: Tolga Akmen/AA]

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