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Protesters urge May to refrain from attacking Syria

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PROTESTERS outside Downing Street delivered a letter to PM Theresa May today urging her to refrain from going to war in Syria.

Stop the War Coalition (StWC) supporters assembled on Whitehall for the emergency action after she and her Cabinet agreed yesterday that they will follow the lead of US President Donald Trump to not allow alleged chemical weapon attacks by Bashar al-Assad “go unchallenged.”

Protesters were also on the streets in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens today and further protests are planned in Bangor, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Exeter, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield and Swansea.

The StWC letter said: “There can be no justification for chemical weapon attacks or for the despicable bombing which targets civilians of the sort that we saw in Douma.

“But further military intervention is not the solution and can only extend the appalling suffering of the people of Syria.

“It also risks spreading the war across the Middle East and raises the frightening possibility of direct confrontation between nuclear armed powers.

“It is quite wrong to argue that these attacks are the price of non-intervention. In fact, foreign military intervention from all sides, including from our own government, has only served to deepen and prolong the war in Syria.

“Rather than backing the gung-ho foreign policy of the most inflammatory and xenophobic US president in history, the British government should be seeking political and diplomatic solutions to the tragic situation in Syria and to avoid anything that can escalate further the conflict in the region,” the letter adds.

Campaigners noted that only 22 per cent of respondents in a YouGov poll said that they would support air strikes on Syria.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon is one MP who has called for Ms May to allow Parliament a say on any plans for military action before the use of chemical weapons has been confirmed.

He told the Star: “We are in very dangerous times. At no point in my life have I been as genuinely worried for the future of our world.

“Any military intervention could escalate rapidly. Those beating the drums of war need to step back and let the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons do their job.

“Further military action in Syria could see the list of forces involved being US, UK, France, Russia, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and possibly Saudi Arabia.

“The threat of escalation is very real. I oppose this push for war. The PM must call a vote in Parliament.”

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