SACC calls on MPs to oppose military action in Syria

Statement from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
30 September 2015

SACC calls on MPs to reject any move by the UK Government to gain parliamentary approval for further military intervention in Syria. We also call for a halt to current UK military operations in Syria, whether carried out in support of the US-led coalition or independently as part of Britain's programme of extra-judicial drone executions.

We opposed UK bombing 2013, when the Assad regime was the intended target, and we remain opposed to it today, with ISIS as the intended target.

Whoever the bombs are said to be aimed at, they will kill civilians. And whatever purpose they are said to serve, they will in fact be directed towards advancing whatever the Government guesses to be in the best interests of British millionaires. British bombs will not serve the interests of either the British or Syrian people, but will on the contrary make the Syrian crisis even more intractable.

The ongoing US action against ISIS in Syria is possible only because the Assad regime - which the US says it opposes - is content with it. If there were any risk of the regime shooting US aircraft down, manned US flights over Syria would require a massive attack on Syrian air defences, with incalculable consquences for regional and world peace. It has to be assumed that the Assad regime believes that the US operations are helpful to it.

Recent US statements indicate an attempt to move a little closer to de facto support for Assad, while avoiding a blatant reversal of the supposed US position of opposition to Assad. Russia's escalation of its support for Assad is a cynical attempt to wrongfoot these cynical US moves.

Statements made by Saudi Arabia today appear to hold out the threat of direct Saudi military action against Assad.

It is not in interests of either the British or Syrian people for Britain to participate in this dance of death.

Richard Haley, Chair of SACC said:

"The overwhelming majority of civilian deaths in Syria are caused by the forces of the Assad regime, not ISIS. It also appears that, despite all the atrocities committed by ISIS, the Assad regime still trumps it for deaths in detention, including deaths under torture.

British bombs are unlikely to be militarily significant. The US has plenty bombs of its own. But they will give diplomatic support to the US for escalation of the conflict in Syria. One of the immediate consequences is likely to be a renewed Assad offensive and a further escalation of the humanitarian catastrophe that has engulfed Syria.

British military action against the Assad regime is not now being proposed, but would in any case be equally disastrous.

What the British Government is seeking - as it did in 2013 - is an increased role in Syria's internal politics and in the game being played by foreign powers with Syria's corpse as football.

Britain's long imperial history, and its recent involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, gives ample evidence that the British Government  would not use that role in the interests of the Syrian people, the British people or world peace."