John Baron MP cautions against air strikes in Syria

July 2, 2015

MP says questions remain about efforts to combat Daesh

The Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, has suggested that MPs consider extending RAF air strikes to Syria. At the moment, following the Parliamentary vote on 26th September 2014, the RAF is only authorised to conduct anti-Daesh air strikes in Iraq. The Defence Secretary stressed Parliament would again have to authorise an extension of the mission into Syria.

John said,

“We should be very wary of conducting air strikes in Syria. The more we intervene, the more we take responsibility for events on the ground. I am also not convinced we fully understand what is happening, as illustrated by the fact that within eighteen months we have now, in effect, swapped sides in the Syrian civil war.”

“Meanwhile, questions remain about our efforts to combat Daesh in general. What more could be done to significantly disrupt their prominence on social media, their business activities, and the financial flows from friendly neighbouring Arab states?”

“Furthermore, in Iraq, why are we not making greater progress in training up the Iraqi Army, in giving better and more direct support to the Kurds, and politically reaching out to the Sunni minorities – we all know soldiers can only buy time?”

“Only a full-spectrum response will defeat Daesh. The Government needs to address these questions, particularly when they seek Parliament’s approval to intervene, should they decide to conduct air strikes.”

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