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'We must take action in Syria' - Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey
Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey has backed calls for military action in Syria, saying he is in “no doubt” Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons to kill civilians.
MPs have been recalled from their summer break to vote on the principle of army intervention in the war torn-country, following a chemical attack on August 21 which reportedly left hundreds dead.
In a letter to constituents today, Mr Davey said he supported “some form” of military action - adding the situation was “totally different” to the circumstances surrounding the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which he opposed.
Mr Davey said: “Up until now, despite the appalling two year civil war, Britain has not intervened militarily but has focused on diplomacy, non-lethal support for some of the rebels and massive humanitarian relief for refugees, a policy position I strongly support.
“However, the case for considering new initiatives - and potentially military action - is based on the evidence that the Syrian regime is now using chemical weapons frequently - with a very large scale use last week.
“The use of chemical weapons is illegal under international law, and unless we intervene to deter future use of such weapons, the implications for both the current humanitarian crisis in Syria and for future wars would be extremely dangerous.”
In 2003, Mr Davey voted against military action in Iraq, the case for which was backed by the controversial “sexed-up” dossier which claimed Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes.
Today, Mr Davey said: “Everything I have seen and read to date leaves me in no doubt that chemical weapons were used.
“Having not even found the "dodgy dossier" a convincing case for war before Iraq, and indeed having voted against the Iraq war, the evidence I have seen on Syria is of a totally different quality and credibility and convinces me of the case for some form of action in Syria.”
He added: “I cannot stress enough how different this is from the Iraq situation 10 years ago.
“Politically, Obama is not Bush and the Coalition Government is not Blair's New Labour.
"Evidentially and legally, the situation is totally different.
“The process both in Parliament and at the UN is different. The military action being considered is different.”
But Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park and north Kingston, said he was “sceptical” about military intervention.
He said: “It is an enormously difficult and complex issue, and I will hear all the arguments when the issue is debated.
“But while I will attempt to do so with an open mind, I start from a position of deep scepticism.
“My heart of course tells me we need to do something - my head says that military intervention would be utter madness and that we would likely regret it for years to come.”
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