Military escalation in Syria

It is deeply regrettable that the leaders of the British, American and French governments launched further military action in Syria in response to the suspected Douma attack before any independent report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was conducted or any renewed UN investigation carried out.

The government’s decision to support the intervention and expand its military campaign in Syria should have been brought to Parliament, and they should have been obliged to explain their strategy so that MPs were able to fully scrutinise what is being put forward.

Rather than further military intervention, what is urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire, de-escalation and a negotiated political settlement under UN auspices.

The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.

There is a real need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and a political settlement of the conflict in Syria, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces and the right of the Syrian people to determine their own future.

I will continue to monitor events in Syria closely.