Cameron uses false flag chemical attack in Syria to make threats of intervention

David Cameron: Britain must bomb Syria to prevent more devastating chemical weapon attacks
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-britain-must-bomb-2231707

Britain must bomb Syria to prevent more devastating chemical weapon attacks, David Cameron warned last night.

UK forces are primed to take part in clinical strikes against brutal dictator Bashar Assad after the PM said the world must not “stand idly by”.

His threat came as US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel declared that American forces are “ready to go” as soon as Barack Obama gives the order.

As new pictures emerged yesterday of children being gassed in Syria, Mr Cameron recalled MPs to Parliament tomorrow to discuss military action.

The PM’s former military adviser Lord Dannatt and several Tory MPs have publicly urged him not to intervene in Syria’s civil war.

But Mr Cameron said the international community could not allow rules banning the use of chemical weapons to be broken.

He said: “If there is no action following this big use of chemical weapons is it going to be more likely in future that more and more regimes will use chemical weapons?

“That this regime will use them again and again on a larger scale and we’ll see more death and more suffering?

“It must be right to have some rules in our world and to try to enforce those rules.”

Mr Obama is facing calls to win the backing of Congress before launching military action. But he is expected to ignore the pleas and order cruise missile strikes to begin by as early as tomorrow night. Military sources here said British forces were in position to join in with these attacks.

The White House yesterday said evidence showing that Assad’s troops were behind the chemical weapons atrocities would be published this week.

Assad has been accused of using napalm as well as sarin against his own people.

Mr Cameron will today chair a meeting of the National Security Council which is expected to rubber stamp military strikes.

But Lord Dannatt yesterday warned that such force was “wrong”. And the former Army chief said the PM must have answers for his critics when he faces MPs tomorrow.

Lord Dannatt said: “He has got to make the case to Parliament, he has got to make the case to the country, and the case has got to include a strategy. How does any form of military action fit within an overall and comprehensive strategy? And he’s also got to spell out quite clearly what is the UK national interest in this.”

Tory MPs are also sceptical. Backbencher Adam Holloway, a former Army captain, said: “What’s the strategy here? Reaction to horror is not a strategy. I would be completely up for a military attack if we could predict what the end state would be.”

But the size of a Tory rebellion could be cut to a handful of MPs because the operation against Assad is set to be a limited attack that could last one or two nights.

Mr Cameron insisted that he would not be sucked into another Iraq.

He said: “Let me stress to people this is not about getting involved in a Middle Eastern war or changing our stance in Syria or going further into that conflict.

“It’s about chemical weapons, their use is wrong and the world shouldn’t stand idly by.”

The PM said while it was highly unlikely that last week’s atrocity – thought to have killed 1,300 people – was carried out by Syrian rebels, he admitted no intelligence could provide 100% proof Assad’s forces were responsible.

He added: “What we’ve seen in Syria are appalling scenes of death and suffering because of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, and I don’t believe we can let that stand.”

Politicians said Tony Blair’s “dodgy dossier” on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, which led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, had raised the bar for evidence to justify military strikes. Senior Tory Richard Ottaway said that intelligence showing Assad’s forces were behind the atrocities should be shared with MPs, even if it was only to Parliament’s spooks watchdog.

Mr Ottaway, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: “In order to convince a sceptical public and Parliament about this I think they are going to have to be pretty forthcoming.”

Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell added: “The Prime Minister will have to make a convincing case if he is to persuade not only his own backbenchers but the House as well.”

Attorney General Dominic Grieve, the Government’s top lawyer, is expected to give the legal justification for war at today’s NSC meeting. The Arab League gave him some cover yesterday by blaming Assad for the “heinous” chemical attacks on the outskirts of capital Damascus which are being investigated by the United Nations.

In a harrowing interview with ITV News, volunteer paramedic Abu Akram has told how a one-month-old girl died in his arms during the atrocity.

Mr Akram, who said the girl was one of 20 youngsters who died in the area, added: “We have been unable to identify these 20 children. This young girl we have named her number 14.

“We have this poor girl she was no older than a month. No one’s been able to identify her so she is unknown number 14.”

Assad’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem yesterday denied that the regime was behind the attacks, and vowed Syria would defend itself from any strikes. Speaking in Damascus he said: “We are hearing the drum beats of war.”

He added: “We have the means to defend ourselves and we will surprise everyone. We will defend ourselves using all means available.”

Deputy PM Nick Clegg echoed Mr Cameron’s pledge that Britain would not get involved in another Iraq, a war that his Lib Dem party opposed.

Mr Clegg said: “What we are not considering is regime change, trying to topple the Assad regime, trying to settle the civil war in Syria one way or another. That needs to be settled through a political process. We are not considering an open-ended military intervention with boots on the ground like we saw in Iraq.” Labour has refused to say whether it would back Mr Cameron in the Commons until it sees the motion that will be put to a vote.

But speaking after talks with the PM yesterday, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “The use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians is abhorrent and cannot be ignored.

“When I saw the Prime Minister this afternoon I said to him the Labour Party would consider supporting international action but only on the basis that it was legal, that it was specifically limited to deterring the future use of chemical weapons and that any action contemplated had clear and achievable military goals. We will be scrutinising any action contemplated on that basis.”

Mr Cameron, who cut short his holiday to deal with the crisis, tweeted that Speaker John Bercow had granted his request for Parliament to be recalled from its summer break four days early.

The PM said MPs would be given a vote on the “UK response to chemical weapons attacks”.

Tomorrow’s vote will not be legally binding, and Mr Cameron has the final say on whether troops are called into action. But the PM said he wanted to hear the views from across the Commons.

He recalled Parliament as the rebel Syrian National Coalition accused Assad’s forces of using napalm and phosphorus bombs in an attack they claim killed 10 civilians near the city of Aleppo.

The UN has a legal framework – the Responsibility to Protect – that paves the way for military intervention on humanitarian grounds.

It says if a country fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities, the international community has a responsibility to act. If diplomacy and economic sanctions fail, the international community can resort to military force.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-britain-must-bomb-2231707#ixzz2zt5nac9a

 

 

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