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Syria: Military Intervention

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6958, tabled on 16 April 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to all non-lethal alternatives to military action in Syria.

Answered on

30 April 2018

The decision by the UK, US and France to conduct a carefully targeted military action to degrade and deter further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime was only taken because all non-military options had been exhausted. These efforts have included a negotiated agreement with the regime, guaranteed by Russia, to declare and give up all its chemical weapons capabilities, but the regime and Russia have subsequently failed to respect their commitments. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism to attribute responsibility for attacks was established but later blocked by Russia. Russia has also vetoed any attempt at the Security Council to hold those responsible to account. The EU has brought sanctions against those involved in the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Regrettably these diplomatic efforts had proved insufficient to prevent continued chemical attacks. The UK Government remains clear that the UN-led Geneva process between the Syrian parties, mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2254, remains the forum for reaching a lasting political settlement to end the conflict in Syria.

Answered by

Foreign and Commonwealth Office