Faisal Rashid MP comments on the situation in Syria

“I, along with my Labour Party Colleagues, remain deeply concerned by the recent reports from Douma, which point to an attack having been carried out with chemical weapons, in full contravention of international humanitarian law. The evidence of the deaths and suffering inflicted by the attack, including on young children, is horrific and those responsible must be held to account.

“Both the Assad regime and Isis have been held responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the past since the start of the Syrian conflict, a war crime which I utterly condemn.

“I support the call by the UN Secretary General for a wider and full independent investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any party to the conflict, which demands urgent security council agreement.

“It is vital that any proposal by the Government to support US military intervention and expand British involvement in Syria should be brought to parliament and its strategy held to account.

“Last year’s US cruise missile attack on Syria, in response to the use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun, failed to prevent what appears to have been another attack last weekend. I am concerned that a new US-led military attack on Syrian government forces and their allies would represent a dangerous escalation and risk spreading the conflict and increasing the suffering of the Syrian people, including to the point of direct conflict between US and Russian forces.

“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 can be no rest in efforts to find a long-term solution to the violence in Syria. Ultimately, the only way to end this conflict and the terrible suffering of the Syrian people is through genuine peace talks leading to a permanent ceasefire and a comprehensive political settlement.”

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