Stop Bombing Syria protest outside Downing Street, 7th April 2017. Photo: Jim Aindow Stop Bombing Syria protest outside Downing Street, 7th April 2017. Photo: Jim Aindow

Statement from Stop the War Coalition following the attacks on Douma in Syria

Stop the War condemns the bombing attacks on the people of Douma in Syria, including alleged chemical attacks. Yet again, the main victims of this war are the ordinary people of Syria, who have now suffered seven years of war which has left many dead, and many more refugees.

The attack must not be used to justify more military intervention. We condemn all outside military intervention including that of Russia and Iran. But equally we condemn that of our own government and its allies.  Already Donald Trump has promised retaliation and there has been a missile attack on a Syrian airfield, most likely by Israel. France and Britain are likely to support further such action.

It is sometimes claimed that the bombing by Assad is the result of the west’s failure to intervene. Nothing could be further from the truth. The west has been intervening directly and through its proxies throughout this war. Britain voted against bombing Syria in 2013 but voted to do so in 2015 and continues its military intervention. Nato member Turkey is intervening in Syria and has launched a massive military attack on the Kurds in Afrin.

The Middle East has become the site of endless war following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – an invasion we opposed and about which we were proved right. In recent months there has been western bombing in Iraq and Syria, not to mention the western backed Saudi war in Yemen. It is surely the height of hypocrisy for those supporting such wars to now claim their military can help those under threat in the Syrian war. The idea that Israel – whose troops shot 28 unarmed civilians in the past two weeks and killed thousands in its bombings of Gaza – should now be attacking Syria over its attacks on civilians is grotesque.

This escalation of war is highly dangerous. The only solution in Syria is a ceasefire on all sides and a political settlement – military intervention has already been proved to have failed.