Amnesty UK Letter to The Times: Syria - military intervention
Letters to the editor
Friday 30 August 2013
The defeat of the UK government’s initiative to win political support for possible military intervention in Syria shouldn’t blind us to some basic facts.
First, that US-led strikes are reportedly still highly likely. Too little has been said about what this may mean for civilians in Syria.
International humanitarian law is clear that scrupulous care must be taken to ensure that civilians are protected from harm at all times.
Though neither President Obama nor US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will acknowledge this, the USA has a lamentable record of providing proper accountability for previous US strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan, attacks that have killed and maimed large numbers of civilians.
As for the UK, it should now increase its efforts on several fronts: by helping to fashion further targeted sanctions against President Assad and his circle, by pressing for an effective human rights monitoring mission and access for the UN’s Commission of Inquiry, and by increasing humanitarian assistance for civilians in need.
Amnesty International UK
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Kristyan Benedict is on Twitter as @KreaseChan
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