Labour’s Leader and Deputy Leader Clash Over Syrian Airstrikes

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, and Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, are at odds over whether to support the US’s military attack on Syria. The attack, which has been backed by the British Government, came in response to a chemical attack that the Syrian Government was alleged to have authorised.

Corbyn said in a statement:

“The US missile attack on a Syrian government air base risks escalating the war in Syria still further.

Tuesday’s horrific chemical attack was a war crime which requires urgent independent UN investigation and those responsible must be held to account. But unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification risks intensifying a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. What is needed instead is to urgently reconvene the Geneva peace talks and unrelenting international pressure for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.

“The terrible suffering of the Syrian people must be brought to an end as soon as possible and every intervention must be judged on what contribution it makes to that outcome. The British government should urge restraint on the Trump administration and throw its weight behind peace negotiations and a comprehensive political settlement”.

Watson had earlier said that the US attacks were “direct and proportionate as chemical weapons attacks on civilians can never be tolerated and must have consequences”.