Corbyn Questions Legal Basis for British Strikes in Syria

Randolph Lopez
April 16, 2018

"I say to the foreign secretary, I say to the prime minister, where is the legal basis for this?"

"The government must present the objectives of any proposed action to Parliament".

"The legal basis. would have to be self defence or the authority of the UN Security Council".

He said the humanitarian grounds used by the United Kingdom to justify strikes was "debatable".

"I think parliament should have a say in this, and the prime minister could quite easily have done that".

"What we need in this country is something more robust like a War Powers Act so governments do get held to account by parliament for what they do in our name."

Also appearing on the program, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he hoped Saturday's airstrike could push actors in the Syrian civil war towards the negotiating table and "alleviate further humanitarian suffering".

Corbyn sent a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May Saturday criticizing her decision to join the coordinated unilateral attack before global inspectors even had the chance to begin their probe into the alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government. "Finally the world has said, enough is enough". "This legally questionable action risks escalating further", Mr Corbyn, a veteran anti-war campaigner, said.

He added: "It's important that we understand the limits of what we are trying to do".

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"The primary goal is to say no to the use of barbaric chemical weapons", he said.

Earlier on Friday, Corbyn also accused May's government of "waiting for instructions" from the USA on how to proceed in the Syrian crisis, but that Donald Trump was giving "alarmingly contradictory signals".

Russian Federation has repeatedly used its security council veto to block resolutions on Syria, including one on Tuesday that would have established an independent investigation into the suspected use of chemical weapons. Russia, which backs Assad's regime, described reports as a "provocation" orchestrated to justify Western military intervention in Syria and has called for the U.N. Security Council to meet Friday to discuss potential military action from Western allies.

But Transport Minister Jo Johnson later stressed: "There has been no decision to take military action at this point". "Why didn't they wait for the OPCW to carry out its investigation, which was due to start today?"

The US, UK and France hailed their missile strikes in the early hours of yesterday morning as having successfully degraded the capability of Assad to deploy chemical weapons.

Corbyn denied that it was pointless, given Russia's record, to continue to call for United Nations investigations.

The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad denies it used chemical weapons, although the British, US and French governments all say they have significant amounts of evidence indicating that it was indeed behind the attack.

He added: "it can be done".

The Labour leader warned of an escalation in a "proxy war" between the USA and Russian Federation.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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