Attack on Assad could harm civilians more, says MP

By staff writers
August 28, 2013

Westminster's only Green MP has warned that an attack on Syria could have severe consequences for civilians, and for the Middle East region.

Caroline Lucas MP, who has also tabled her own parliamentary motion tomorrow and has written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking for clear legal advice, was speaking after the announcement of the recall of parliament over alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

"I have deep concerns about resorting to military action. While completely deploring the actions of Assad and his regime, and believing that all those responsible for war crimes should be referred to the International Criminal Court, it is by no means clear that military action will reduce suffering in the region.

“Our guiding principle now must be to do all we can to protect lives. When considering military intervention, we need to look at the balance of risks. Currently, there is no evidence that the most likely scenario – a symbolic missile strike on a key regime target – would have a deterrent effect on the Assad regime. To the contrary, it seems at least as likely that it could act as a provocation to the regime, and lead to an escalation of the conflict, and greater harm to civilians.

“We need to learn from our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the UK supports or participates in military action, particularly before a full report from the UN weapons inspectors, our chances of working towards a diplomatic resolution would be seriously undermined.

“Given that Russia looks likely to block agreement at the Security Council, the legality of a military response is also in question.

“The UK should now redouble efforts to address the refugee crisis, particularly in Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon, and support all humanitarian efforts to reduce suffering,” said the MP for Brighton Pavilion.

* 'The Prime Minister should publish legal advice on Syria', by Caroline Lucas: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18927

* 'Syria: what lies behind the clamour for military strikes?', by Simon Barrow: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18911

* More on Syria from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/syria

[Ekk/3]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.