The STUC in conference today in Aviemore released this statement on the bombing of Syria:
Emergency General Council Statement: Syria
The General Council deplores the ongoing violence in Syria and the use of chemical weapons on Syria’s people. Using chemical weapons is a war crime, as is directing attacks against civilians and Bashar al-Assad must stand trial in the International Criminal Court for these crimes.
The General Council condemns the use of airstrikes by the UK, the USA and France, which increase tensions and rather than delivering peace or stability for the people of Syria, sustain the conflict.
In 2015 the STUC General Council called on the UK Government not to deploy airstrikes in Syria because they were “unlikely to be successful and will make it more difficult to achieve the political resolution of the situation that will ultimately be the only means by which peace and stability can be achieved.”
Now in 2018 it is clear that previous airstrikes did not prevent further chemical weapons attacks, nor did they achieve peace in Syria.
Today the situation is arguably more complex than three years ago. There is significant risk that the military action taken by the UK, the USA and France could provoke a response from Russia or Iran, at a time when relations are already strained, diplomatic channels have been reduced and both the USA and Russia have arrogant and increasingly unpredictable leaders.
The General Council calls on the UK Government to:
- recognise that all conflict is ultimately solved by diplomacy and to prioritise the pursuit of lasting peace in Syria.
- recognise the limitations of airstrikes as an effective intervention, and the real and tangible danger that they could escalate the conflict and create war or proxy war with Russia.
- allow a full Parliamentary debate and a vote on any further military action recognising the significance of the decision for our own peace and security.