British MP John Woodcock , secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Friends of Syria, called for holding an emergency parliamentary debate in a bid to end the violence in Syria, calling for the establishment of a ‘no-bombing zone’ to stop aerial attacks by the Assad regime and Russian forces.
Labor’s Woodcock urged UK Prime Minister Theresa May “to get the ball rolling when Parliament is recalled.”
Woodcock travelled to Istanbul last week to meet leaders of the Syrian Coalition in Turkey. The Coalition’s President Anas Alabdah urged the British MP to “work seriously on stopping the barbaric bombing of Syrian civilians by the Assad regime and Russian forces and to press for protecting civilians through the establishment of a no-bombing zone that would serve as a safe havens for civilians fleeing Assad and Russia’s barrel bombs and bunker-buster bombs.”
Woodcock said that the Syrian people “feel the world has abandoned them,” adding that “they say the threat is coming from Assad and Russia who are systematically killing civilians. Russia, a member of the UN Security Council, is committing war crimes on a daily basis.”
Woodcock called for British air strikes on Assad’s military bases found to have violated “no-fly zones” to bomb Aleppo. He said: “Russia has to know there will be consequences if they continue to act in this way.”
“A ‘no-bombing zone’ proposal would say clearly to Russia and Syria, ‘Every time you drop barrel bombs on civilians, we will attack a regime target’,” Woodcock added. “’Our firepower is greater than yours’. There should be an emergency debate to persuade the Government to act.”
Alison McGovern MP, backed the move. McGovern was elected as co-chair of the Friends of Syria Group to carry on the work of murdered MP Jo Cox.
McGovern said: “One of the things Jo campaigned for was Syria. Like her, I feel the situation there is abhorrent…Watching children and adults being killed indiscriminately is a total disgrace. It brings shame on the whole of humanity…Our Government has the capacity to track what is going on and who is doing what.” (Source: Syrian Coalition)