John Baron MP questions Prime Minister over Syria

November 17, 2015

MP says anti-Daesh strategy must also include non-military measures

Today the Prime Minister gave a Statement following last weekend’s meeting of the G20 in Istanbul, during which he also responded to the recent attacks in Paris. The Prime Minister set out his continuing belief that Britain should play its part in the international coalition’s air strikes over Syria, and confirmed he would seek Parliament’s approval for this military action in due course.

In the Chamber, John asked,

“The Prime Minister is right to focus on the importance of a multi-faceted approach, but I suggest that, when it comes to military intervention in Syria, we must learn from previous errors and ensure we help implement a proper strategy involving regional allies, as well as Iran and Russia, which might need to recognise that Daesh is a greater danger than Assad; because air strikes alone will not defeat Daesh.”

The Prime Minister was cautious in his response.

John said afterwards,

“Absent a ‘grand strategy’ to destroy Daesh, I would be reluctant to vote for RAF air strikes in Syria. This strategy must be inclusive of the whole international community, and must also operate at a non-military level. If we are to defeat Daesh, we must disrupt its business and financial links, and counteract its prominence on social media.”

Word Count: 224
Date: 17th 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.
• 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

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