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In the British Parliament, the opposition is divided in the face of strikes in Syria

The Labor leader, Jeremy Corbyn, questioned the merits of the military operation conducted Saturday by London, with Paris and Washington. But he was very isolated.
The world | 16.04.2018 at 20:53 • Updated 16.04.2018 at 21:11 | By Eric Albert (London, correspondence)

The decision of British Prime Minister Theresa May to hit militarily the Syria , Saturday, April 14, alongside the United States and the la France , was widely supported during a debate in the House of Commons, Monday, April 16. And opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has been well isolated in these criticisms.
The leader of the Labor Party has strongly criticized M me May, under the hootings of Conservative MPs. “All the diplomatic options were not exhausted” , he said, before challenge the military effectiveness of the operation, which targeted three sites of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. “Why does the Prime Minister believe that these strikes will deter future chemical attacks? Does not she know that in 2017, the United States has already struck after [another chemical attack] ? ” Finally, Mr. Corbyn focused his attack on the question of law: “I believe that legality [keystrokes] is debatable. ”
The Prime Minister responded by justifying her action step by step. It is based on the right of humanitarian intervention, which has been used many times in the past. This was already the case in 1991, when a no-fly zone was set up in Iraq , or during the intervention of the NATO the Kosovo in 1999. Legally, three criteria must be satisfied for allow such action: it takes “Convincing evidence of extreme and large-scale humanitarian suffering” ; he must be “Objectively clear that there is no alternative to the use of force” ; and this one must be ” necessary ” , “Proportionate” and “Strictly limited in time and purpose” .
Targeted and limited strikes
For me me May, these three criteria were met. She emphasized in particular that the strikes were targeted and limited. “It was not a question of intervening in a civil war nor of change of diet. ” The goal was simply to restore the red line of the international ban on the use of chemical weapons.
These arguments did not convince Jeremy Corbyn, who has historically opposed all British military interventions of recent decades. According to him, if the humanitarian issue was really urgent, it would have been better to lean about the suffering of the people of Yemen , plagued by a devastating civil war. He also questioned the responsibility of the Assad regime in the chemical attack of eastern Ghouta, which triggered these strikes: “Everything tends to think that the regime was behind, but other groups in Syria have used chemical weapons in the past. ”
A large part of the Labor MPs nevertheless chose to tidy behind the prime minister. “Inaction itself can to have serious consequences , attacked Chris Leslie, one of them, standing a few rows behind Mr. Corbyn. Those who close their eyes and prefer nothing make for to win in the field of morality must also be responsible. ”
No vote
Dominic Grieve, Conservative MP, Law Specialist international , mocked the position of the Labor leader, who demands a UN resolution to intervene militarily. “With [this point of view] , any tyrant at world , megalomaniac, person wanting lead genocide, if it has the support of an immoral member of the United Nations Security Council, will perpetrate this genocide with impunity. In this case, it would be the death of the international legal system. ”
Supporting overwhelmingly the strikes, the British deputies fell back on another criticism: the lack of a vote in the House of Commons before the operation. In 2003, Tony Blair established this principle before the intervention in Iraq, and David Cameron perpetuated it when he decided to intervene in Iraq. Libya In 2011, when he tried to do it in Syria in 2013, he lost the vote in the House of Commons.
“There was time to hold a debate” attacked Ken Clarke, a Conservative MP. ” Why expect today to discuss it? ” Ian Blackford, a member of the Scottish National Party, said. M me May replied that the urgency of the strikes and coordination with her allies made the organization of a parliamentary debate impossible. On this point, the criticisms remained numerous. But for the rest, Mr. Corbyn was very much alone.

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