The UK’s recent decision to join the US and other states in bombing ISIL in Syria was fiercely opposed by Corbyn – and still is. The House of Commons voted by a big majority to join the coalition, and 66 Labour MPs backed military action after an impassioned speech by Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn.
But the Labour leader makes clear he unhappy at the reaction on the night. “What I was appalled by was the end of that debate, with mainly Conservative MPs waving their order papers around, clapping and cheering,” he says.
“Sorry, we were voting to send bombers in to bomb targets, putting servicemen and women at risk, civilians at risk, you can’t cheer when you’re going to war. That is 1914 Jingoism, that is past.”
Corbyn adds: “I think we rushed into something without enough thought. I made my point in my own speech to Parliament, very carefully. I asked a series of questions and I don’t believe I had proper answers to those questions. Even the Daily Mail said that the questions I’d put – which we thought about very carefully in my office – were relevant questions and have not actually been answered.
The Sun newspaper has reported that not a single one of the RAF’s much-hailed Brimstone missiles has been fired in Syria because of a lack of targets. Does that help his own case on Syria?
“It proves something doesn’t it? The Brimstone missiles I was told never miss a target, sorry if you get a target wrong and we all make mistakes.”
“I quote in my speech a Syrian family who live in this constituency. They are not lovers of the regime, they are not lovers of the Opposition, they are lovers of their family and life and they said our family is at risk.”
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