Corbyn: Allies’ Bombing of Syria Legally Questionable

Corbyn: Allies’ Bombing of Syria Legally QuestionableCorbyn: Allies’ Bombing of Syria Legally Questionable

The leader of Britain’s largest opposition party is suggesting Prime Minister Theresa May could face a backlash in parliament for her decision to join the US and France in launching strikes against Syria.

The Labor Party’s Jeremy Corbyn says the allies’ bombing is “legally questionable” and risks further escalating “an already devastating conflict”, Aljazeera reported.

“May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after [US President] Donald Trump,” he said on Saturday.

“Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace,” he said, adding that Britain should be leading the response and “not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm’s way.”

Many politicians, including some in May’s own Conservative Party, had backed his call for parliament to be asked before any military strike.

  Assurance Sought

Corbyn later wrote to May seeking assurance that there would be no further bombing raids and urged the government to negotiate a pause in the Syrian civil war.

May will appear before the House of Commons on Monday to explain her decision on joining the strikes.

The prime minister’s office said she had spoken to Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of Italy, Australia and Canada about the strikes.

Stop the War, a pacifist coalition once chaired by Corbyn, has called a demonstration outside parliament in London on Monday to protest against the strikes.

The group said it “strongly condemned” the action and accused May of “sanctioning killing” at President Trump’s behest.

Often when the British government decides on military action, the opposition offers its full support. However, that has been less the case in recent years.

David Cameron, May’s predecessor, lost a parliamentary vote on airstrikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in 2013 when 30 Conservative politicians voted against action, with many Britons wary of entering another conflict after interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region.

Legislators backed action in Iraq in 2014, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes in both countries to targets of the self-styled Islamic State terror group.

A BMG poll, taken before the strikes and published by the Independent newspaper on Saturday, indicated that 28% of Britons backed airstrikes, with 36% opposed.

  UN Urges Caution

In an address to an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cautioned against the crisis in Syria “spiraling out of control.”

The meeting was held following overnight airstrikes in Syria launched by the United States, with support from France and the United Kingdom.

It was called by Russia which failed to get the other 14 council members to adopt a resolution condemning the airstrikes.

Speaking prior to the vote on the draft resolution, the secretary-general urged countries to avoid actions that would escalate the situation in Syria and worsen the suffering of its people.

“As secretary-general of the United Nations, it is my duty to remind member states that there is an obligation, particularly when dealing with matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nations and with international law in general,” he told ambassadors, echoing a statement issued in the wake of the airstrikes.

“As I did yesterday, I stress the need to avoid the situation from spiraling out of control,” he continued, referring to a meeting held on Friday, one of five times the council met this week to take up the question of Syria.


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