Military action in Syria must have parliamentary scrutiny and independent evidence
It is deeply regrettable that the US, UK and French governments have launched further military action in Syria before any independent report, or parliamentary scrutiny.
Any move towards an expansion of the UK’s military campaign in Syria should have been brought to Parliament.
Tragically though, we see this Government following the lead of a US president who conducts international affairs via twitter.
Parliament should always be consulted, yet the Government has still failed to provide a proper debating opportunity to scrutinise the action they took on Friday night.
At the debate on Tuesday on the need for a War Powers Act which would demand Parliamentary consultation prior to military action, I spoke and voted in favour of the Act, one which the Tories did once support.
As we have seen all too often, military action without strategic planning, has failed to deliver positive outcomes. We only need to look at Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya to see the evidence of that.
Theresa May herself has admitted that the air strikes are a limited action and not part of any wider military strategy.
Their intention, we are to surmise, is to serve as a warning. But that threat is a dangerous escalation, and risks spreading the conflict, prolonging the suffering of the Syrian people.
The appalling suffering inflicted by the attack in Douma must be properly investigated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and I hope that it is able to report its findings and allow the UN to consider the next steps, despite Friday’s airstrikes.
We urgently need a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under UN auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.