Friday, 21 December 2012

UK Government Warned on Direct Syrian Intervention

Richard Ottaway, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote to the Foreign Office to demand adequate notice for MPs to debate any change in government policy.

The committee said the government should publish official legal advice before undertaking direct intervention to tilt the balance of the Syrian uprising in favour of the opposition.

Members are concerned that the government is moving towards direct military aid for the opposition forces, if it can amend the EU arms embargo on Syria in negotiations launched last week.

Mr Ottaway asked William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, to confirm that the government had sought the formal advice of the Attorney General on the legality of intervention in Syria in the absence of a UN resolution.

The letter said the Syrian situation was different from last year's conflict in Libya where Nato benefited from the backing of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

For more than a year there has been covert foreign intervention that has fueled the violence. A direct attack on Syria would be illegal - just as it is illegal to foment war using proxies. This is tantamount to launching a war of aggression. There is nothing defensive about these actions.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, December 21st, 2012.]

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