Jeremy Corbyn: Allies' bombing is 'legally questionable'

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2018

Yesterday Mr Corbyn said: 'Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has opposed British military action throughout his career, described the Syrian attack as "legally questionable".

The Douma attack has drawn worldwide outrage which has seen the Prime Minister and Mr Trump agree that the use of chemical weapons must not go unchallenged after Mrs May won the backing of her Cabinet for action to prevent their further use in Syria.

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday there was no legal basis for British strikes against Syria and such action would encourage others to behave in the same way.

In Britain, opposition is building up to any British involvement in military strikes in Syria, particularly without the issue being taken to Parliament first.

He added: "The Government should do whatever possible to push Russian Federation and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account".

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable echoed Mr Corbyn in saying the decision to deploy missiles in Syria should have been decided by Parliament.

Her language was aimed at heading off arguments that members of the United Kingdom parliament on all sides used when they voted against air strikes in Syria in 2013. An worldwide strategy for peace must be pursued - not a course that risks risky escalation.

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However, inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog will travel to Douma to investigate reports of a chemical attack. The group is the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, which has been signed by 192 member states.

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In Iran , senior Iranian official Ali-Akbar Velayati warned that the "Zionist crimes in Syria will not remain unanswered". Syrian television reported that Syria's air defenses, which are substantial, responded to the attack.

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"Even US defence secretary James Mattis has said we "don't have evidence" and warned further military action could "escalate out of control".

"An global strategy is urgently required to bring peace and stability to the region".

"Riding the coat-tails of an erratic U.S. president is no substitute for a mandate from the House of Commons", he said.

Parliament is in recess until next week, but the Prime Minister recalled the Cabinet for a meeting on Thursday, during which it was agreed that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian regime was responsible for Saturday's attack on Douma, which killed up to 75 people, including children.

The SNP's Westminster Leader Ian Blackford is meanwhile pushing for an emergency Commons debate on the situation in Syria on Monday, saying it was "not acceptable" that Ms May had "ploughed ahead without any debate or parliamentary discussion".

He wrote: "The UK Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament, not the whims of a US President".

He said it was "deeply alarming" to see the return of chemical weapons to the battlefield in Syria and the airstrikes was the "right thing to do" in "settling the determination to ensure these weapons cannot be used".

"It is just frankly not right and we have to take action to stop that happening in the future and that's what we did last night".

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