Corbyn on Syria strikes: Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace
UK opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has sharply criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May for following the orders of US President Donald Trump in launching missile strikes against Syria, saying “bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace.”
Corbyn, a veteran anti-war campaigner, said Saturday that May should have sought approval from the UK Parliament before ordering the attack, which he said could escalate the conflict.
“Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace. This legally questionable action risks escalating further,” Corbyn said in a statement.
“Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm’s way,” he added.
“Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump.”
The British premier is not bound by law to seek parliamentary approval for offensive military action, but many now believe lawmakers should always have a vote before the government takes military action.
At a press conference in Downing Street on Saturday, May claimed the military action was “right and legal” and was carried out to ensure chemical weapons were not used again.
“It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties,” she said.
British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has asked for a private briefing on the UK government’s intelligence about the suspected Douma chemical attack.
American, British and French forces launched air strikes on Syria early Saturday in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry denounced the strikes as a “brutal, barbaric aggression” aimed to block a probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a global watchdog.
Syria has strongly rejected any role in the suspected attack, which took place just as the Syrian army was about to declare full victory against the militants operating in the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.
Russia said the chemical attack was staged by desperate militants to provoke further intervention in the conflict by the West.
The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons during a process monitored by the OPCW in 2014.
Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, condemned the attack and said there would be “consequences.”
“We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris,” he said.