Mary Creagh says failure to act in Syria “opened the door to ISIS”

6th July, 2015 1:32 pm

mary creagh

Shadow International Development Secretary Mary Creagh has said that the failure of western governments to act against Bashar al-Assad in 2013 helped give rise to jihadist group ISIS. Writing for Progress Magazine, Creagh describes the vote that stopped the possibility of UK intervention in Syria as a “shock defeat” that “reverberated around the world”.

Following the use of chemical weapons in Syria two years ago, the Government put forward a motion to begin military action against Assad’s regime. Creagh outlines the series of criteria Labour put forward that the proposed action would have to meet for the party to support it – and says there was a “widely held view that the doctrine of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect gave a legal basis for intervention.”

The former leadership candidate says that there was a belief in Labour ranks that their opposition to the Government proposal would not be enough to stop it:

“The assumption was that we would vote for our motion and lose, and then the Tories would put their motion and win. On any future government motion, specifically authorising air strikes, Labour would, in all probability, have backed the government.”

There are rumours that Cameron will again propose airstrikes in Syria this summer, this time targeting ISIS bases following the terrorist attack in Tunisia last month. Many believe Labour will support this action, although Jeremy Corbyn has already said he is opposed to the idea.

But Creagh says that the action now is a direct result of inaction two years ago, which she argues came from Cameron’s failure “to do the heavy lifting with his backbenchers” and win enough support within his own party. The Wakefield MP writes:

“The west’s failure to protect the Syrian people from Assad’s state terror opened the door to Isis stepping in and offering resistance to his regime.”

Could this be the start of a new Labour position on Middle East intervention?

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