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Guest Column: Britain was left with no choice but to take military action in Syria

Sir Kevin Barron MP
Sir Kevin Barron MP

The tragedy of the civil war in Syria is absolutely awful.

It is clear that Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian leader, is in a powerful position in relation to the war, albeit only with the support of Russia and Iran.

However, I believe that Britain and its allies were left with no choice but to act when confronted with apparent clear proof of the repeated use of chemical weapons.

This includes the incident in East Douma recently where more than 75 people were killed in a chemical attack.

That is why I supported the Government’s involvement in last weekend’s military intervention, which was proportionate and legal as it was intervention on humanitarian grounds.

Many people have raised the question of why more was not done at the United Nations, but it has become impossible to pass anything meaningful due to Russia’s constant deployment of its veto on the Security Council.

They have blocked any attempts to investigate the chemical weapon attacks or impose sanctions against Syria.

I believe strongly that a strategy which focuses entirely on targeting the Syrian capability for manufacturing these dreadful and illegal weapons is the right thing to do.

However, I also strongly believe that before authorising UK military action, the Prime Minister should have consulted Parliament first. If chemical weapons continue to be used to attack and kill Syrian people, then Britain and its allies should consider further action to destroy his capability in this regard.

It must do so, however, in the context of a strategy which focuses on the need for an effective ceasefire and a more meaningful engagement in the humanitarian effort required to deal with the consequences of this dreadful war.