John Baron MP cautions against PM’s response to Paris attacks

November 16, 2015

MP says grand strategy needed to defeat Daesh, not just air strikes

Following the attacks in Paris on Friday, the Government is once again raising the issue of air strikes against Daesh targets in Syria. However, many Parliamentarians are cautious about the use of air strikes, believing instead that an overarching strategy is needed to defeat Daesh. John led the Parliamentary opposition to military intervention in Syria in 2013, whether by arming the anti-Assad rebels or by conducting air strikes against the Assad Government. As part of this campaign, he was successful in getting the Government to seek Parliament’s approval before intervening militarily.

John said,

“Our sympathy is with those caught up in these terrorist outrages, but a calm assessment of the situation in Syria remains paramount.”

“Air strikes alone will not defeat Daesh. Instead, a ‘grand strategy’ is needed which involves the regional powers as well as Iran and Russia. At a non-military level, we must disrupt Daesh’s business and financial links, and counteract the group’s prominence on social media.”

“We must also ensure that appropriate aid reaches the relevant refugee camps, and persuade countries, including our EU neighbours, to honour their aid pledges in full and so close the UN’s estimate of an $800m funding gap. Under-resourced refugee camps can become a breeding-ground for terrorism.”

Word Count: 227
Date: 16th November 2015

Notes to Editors:
• John is a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and voted against air strikes in Iraq in September 2014.

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