Hilary Benn: Shadow Foreign Secretary says Labour won’t back air strikes on Syria

Hilary Ben MP Justin Sutcliffe

Hilary Ben MP Justin Sutcliffe

Vox Political does not wholly support this view.

If Hilary Benn is saying the UK should do nothing until after Syria’s civil war is over, then he is deliberately missing an opportunity.

The UK has an excellent intelligence service and that is where efforts against Daesh (IS if you like) should be concentrated; developing sources of information, working on strategies to ensure that when it becomes advantageous to strike, the blow we deal is fatal.

Labour’s opposition to any British involvement in military action against Islamic State (Isis) in Syria has intensified, despite the massacre in Paris.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn said the co-ordinated attacks on the French capital, which left at least 127 dead, were an “act of war” – but all but ruled out backing UK air strikes in response.

He said that the idea of British action against Isis in Syria should be put to one side until the country’s civil war had been brought to an end.

Mr Benn, speaking exclusively to The Independent on Sunday, said that the Government should drop plans for a new House of Commons vote authorising military attacks in Syria to concentrate on peace talks and providing humanitarian support for refugees.

His intervention dramatically undermines David Cameron’s hopes of joining the United States-led action against Isis in its Syrian heartland.

Source: Hilary Benn: Shadow Foreign Secretary says Labour won’t back air strikes on Syria | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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16 thoughts on “Hilary Benn: Shadow Foreign Secretary says Labour won’t back air strikes on Syria

  1. digger

    WE have just spent the last year or more bombing the desert claiming we cant find isis,daesh,isil or whatever you wish to call them as they are so sophisticated and organised so our inteligence service cant be that inteligent if they cant find them and russia has found them and started to destroy them with ease,and before anyone says we are not bombing them as parliament said no(rightly so) the truth is camoron has been illegally using drones(the coward)and pilots embedded into other countries forces for months now which means he has overuled parliament and should be joining hes old mucker bliar in the hague on war crime charges.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Thanks for that ringing endorsement.
      You’ve just admitted bombing doesn’t work, and claimed intelligence won’t.
      What would you have us do?

      1. digger

        Mike i didnt say bombing wouldnt work so dont misquote me,i said weve been bombing desert and not bombing isis where as russian intelligence has led to russia bombing isis and destroying most of its capabilities in syria so the russian intelligence must be spot on and ours is off.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Then we definitely need to work our our intelligence, rather than just sending out bombers willy-nilly, don’t we?

      3. digger

        then we obviously need to work with Syrian and Russian inteligence as they seem to know where to find and bomb them easily enough dont they?

  2. visualjaz

    WELL I DO SUPPORT LABOUR!! DROPPING MORE BOMBS ON THEM ISN’T GOING STOP THIS CIVIL WAR ANY TIME SOON.. AND THE MORE WE INVOLVE OURSELVES THE MORE LIKELY THAT WE WLL BECOME A TARGET..!!! HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING FROM THIS PAST DECADE OF WAR, MORE WAR.. WAR BRINGS MORE WAR, NOT LESS.. PEACE BRINGS MORE PEACE… THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS FAILED, AND COMPLETELY CORRUPT!! WHEN REGULATION IS NEAR TO ZERO THEN WE WILL END UP IN A PERPETUAL WAR.. AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WANT THAT RESIDE IN PARLIAMENT, THE HOUSE OF LORDS, THE MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS, THE BANKSTERS THAT FUND BOTH SIDES OF THE CONFLICT.. THAT WILL BE THE ROTHSCHILDS… AND NOT FORGETTING ALL THOSE PARASITES WHO THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW OF THE LAND… THE MONARCHIES(I WISH THEY WHERE RESIDED TO THE HISTORY BOOKS!!)

  3. John Ingamells

    I am not sure it is fair to conclude the UK intelligence service is excellent,as shown by events leading up to the Iraq expedition by Blair, dossiers and political inability to recognise the intelligence from Iraq was built on vested interest and limited facts. I am certain our intelligence services must have played a significant role in the decision by UK government to withdraw all citizens from Tunisia because of an imminent event, having had no intelligence on the actual shooting by an individual in Tunisia, not necessarily fills us with total confidence. The bombing of Syria by the west and now Russians, has further decimated a country already levelled after 5 years of conflict. Our intelligence totally overlooked the fact that apparently an entire army of ISIS were driving into Iraq, where it occupied large swathes of land, massacring and raping as it went. Why didn’t the Intelligence Services know of the formation of ISIS and move from Syria to Iraq? The true progress against the Daesch soldiers has been from the Kurdish fighters on the ground, just recently meting out big defeats on their so called fighting strengths. Bizarrely the West has even sat back and allowed the Turkish Government to attack the Kurds on the ground at a time when it is they who have battled on the ground and also suffered when being captured. As it stands I cannot honestly tell you who the West are actually supporting in Syria. Is it Assad, the other anti Assad forces or someone else. Total confusion seems to rule at a time when apparently it is possible to achieve intelligence to kill the barbaric executioner in a car, but not have a more consistent, transparent goal and opposition to support and arm. I fear after all the death and bombing, the country will still be controlled by Assad with Russian support.

    1. Martin Odoni

      Re: The intel on Iraq, you’re regurgitating one of Blair’s most notorious lies. He’d been warned repeatedly, by media, politicians and officials alike, before declaring war that his dossier was flimsy, and he repeatedly swept the objections aside. Since then, he has consistently tried to rewrite history and pretend that the weaknesses in the intelligence were only discovered after the invasion, which is simply untrue.

  4. mohandeer

    Don’t Miss Out — Follow Bloomberg On

    “Diplomats agree on UN-supervised elections within 18 months
    Rebel leaders will be invited to negotiations by Jan. 1
    Seventeen nations, spurred on by Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris, overcame their differences on how to end Syria’s civil war and adopted a timeline that will let opposition groups help draft a constitution and elect a new government by 2017.
    As a first step, the United Nations agreed to convene Syria’s government with opposition representatives by Jan. 1, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday at a joint press conference in Vienna. A cease-fire between the government in Damascus and recognized opposition groups should be in place within six months, according to their statement.
    The terrorist attacks in Paris galvanized the diplomats, who at previous talks had been unable to resolve the discord within their ranks. While Russia and Iran had sided with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. and its regional allies had insisted upon his removal. With diplomats bogged down over the question of Assad, terrorist groups like Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, grew and become more powerful inside Syria.
    “It is time to deprive the terrorists of any single kilometer in which to hide,” Kerry said. “There can be no doubt that this crisis is not Syria’s alone to bear.”
    Assad has “cut his own deal” with Islamic State, buying oil from the group and failing to attack militants, Kerry said. Assad’s allies have conveyed that he’s prepared to be serious and engage in talks, but the “proof will be in the pudding,” he said.
    In a statement posted on Twitter, Islamic State said the Paris attacks that killed 129 people and injured 352 came in retribution for French involvement in the Syrian civil war. The conflict has so far cost about 250,000 lives, sent millions fleeing the region, and triggered Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
    Terrorist List
    Diplomats meeting in the Austrian capital also decided to place Islamic State, along with the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front terrorist group, on a list of those subject to military strikes even when a cease-fire is in place. The list, managed by the Kingdom of Jordan, may later be expanded to include other groups in Syria, Kerry and Lavrov said.
    The Paris attacks “show that it doesn’t matter if you’re for Assad or against him,” said Lavrov, “ISIS is your enemy.”
    The 18-month plan to establish a new Syrian government was called “very challenging but possible” by UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura, who sat between Kerry and Lavrov at the news conference.
    The foreign ministers met ahead of a Group of 20 summit of world leaders starting Sunday in the Turkish coastal resort of Antalya, where the war across the border in Syria is likely to dominate the discussion.
    French President Francois Hollande, in a Saturday television address, called the Paris attacks an “act of war” committed “by a terrorist army.” The coordinated assault targeted cafes, a soccer match and concert hall.
    Timeline for the peace plan:
    1 Month, or, by Dec. 14: Diplomats will reconvene to review progress
    Jan. 1: UN will seek to convene Syrian government and opposition in formal negotiations
    6 Months, or, by May 14, 2016: Cease-fire between Syrian government and opposition groups; process for drafting new constitution
    18 Months, or, by May 14, 2017: Free elections administered by the UN held under the new constitution”

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