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Syria military intervention would be legal - Attorney General advises PM
ATTORNEY General Dominic Grieve has advised the Government that it could strike against the Syrian regime without United Nations backing.
Downing Street released a statement today, based on advice from the Beaconsfield and Marlow MP, stating that military action to prevent further chemical weapon attacks would be legally justifiable.
Any strike would be classed as "humanitarian intervention", even if permanent UN members Russia and China move to block it.
But Prime Minister David Cameron told a debate now ongoing in the Houses of Parliament it would be "unthinkable" to take military action if there was "overwhelming opposition" on the UN Security Council.
MPs will vote on whether to back the principle of military intervention.
Wycombe MP Steve Baker has today urged the Government to push for a ceasefire rather than launching a military attack.
In a blog on his website, Mr Baker wrote: “Of course the use of chemical weapons is a “moral obscenity” but aren’t snipers shooting children?
“Syria isn’t merely a tyranny oppressing a subjugated people; Syria suffers a full-blown civil war. Far more caution is required in international relations.
“Amongst the most infantile of the arguments being advanced by the advocates of war is the concept of “humanitarian intervention”.
“I thank God I have not had to care for those killed and seriously injured in battle. One close to me who has is absolutely clear that the use of armed force is never “humanitarian”.
“What is needed is a ceasefire, however imperfect it may be, and a peace conference. That is what the Government should work towards, not war as punishment.
“Punishment must be meted out by courts against individuals, not nations against nations.”
The Syrian government has denied it used chemical weapons in an attack near Damascus on August 21 which killed hundreds of people.
But UK intelligence officials have told Prime Minister David Cameron that it is “highly likely” the Syrian regime was behind the attack.
US officials have said the evidence is “undeniable”.
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