|Volume 47 Number 8, April 8, 2017||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
RCPB(ML) condemns in the strongest terms the military attack launched by the government of the United States on the sovereign territory of Syria on April 6. During the attack, fifty-nine Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles were launched from U.S. navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean targeting aircraft, aircraft shelters, fuel and other storage, ammunition, air defence systems, and radar at the Shayrat Airfield in Homs province. There can be no justification for such a unilateral use of force by one country against another. The military action was not sanctioned by the Security Council of the United Nations, was contrary to the UN Charter and international law and must therefore be considered a criminal act. The support for this warmongering activity by the British government and its allies must also be strongly condemned. According to reports, the actions of the US government resulted in the deaths of five soldiers and nine civilians, four of them children, from nearby villages hit by the missiles.
The US, Britain and their allies are attempting to justify this attack on the sovereignty of Syria by asserting that it was undertaken in response to the deaths of civilians at Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 from the use of chemical weapons. They claim the government of Syria was responsible for launching these attacks, although no evidence has been produced to substantiate such claims. The governments of Syria and Russia, on the other hand, state that the Syrian military forces from the Shayrat Airfield bombed an arms depot belonging to terrorist forces in Syria, those who are known to be supported by the US and Britain. It was the bombing of this target that appears to have released the chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons of any kind must also be condemned in the strongest terms. Previous UN investigations in Syria have pointed to their use by those opposed to the Syrian government. What must also be of the greatest concern on this occasion is that US president Donald Trump was so eager to resort to unilateral military action without any investigation as to the facts, even when the evidence suggests that it is those supported by the US and its allies who have in the past been guilty of storing and using chemical weapons.
The British government has shown itself to be the greatest ally of the US in this criminal activity, which conveniently took place while the EU was hosting its Brussels Conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region". At that conference, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson once again demanded regime change in Syria, as if Britain and the other big powers should decide on the future of that country. Since that time, the British government has used the pretext of the terrible deaths of Syrian civilians at Khan Sheikhoun to launch further provocations against Russia, one of the main supporters of the Syrian government. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon blamed Russia for the civilian deaths, while Johnson cancelled his planned visit to Moscow, vowed to coordinate an anti-Russian coalition at the imminent G7 summit, and demanded that Russia stop supporting Syria or its military officials would face further sanctions. This coordinated activity by the US, Britain and their allies appears designed to weaken Syria's successful military offensive against so-called ISIL, at a time of increased deployment of US ground troops in the country, and to create the conditions for a renewed political offensive against Syria and its closest allies. For their part, Russia and Iran have demanded an investigation into events at Khan Sheikhoun, but also announced that they will retaliate with force to any further aggression against Syria.
RCPB(ML) calls on all people to condemn the criminal actions of the US government and vigorously oppose the warmongering actions of the British government and the dangerous escalation of military force and provocation.