May’s Syria Policy Gets Thumbs Down from Bipartisan Group of UK Pols

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Written by Whitney Webb; Originally appeared on mintpressnews.com

Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, the U.K. has been an instrumental part of the U.S.-led coalition active in Syria and has also been a major source of funding for armed Syrian opposition groups, having spent millions of pounds on financing such groups — often with terrorist affiliations — since 2012.

The Global Network for Syria, which includes a bipartisan group of several British policymakers and former British ambassadors to Syria, has slammed the U.K. government’s current foreign policy on Syria, Saying that current efforts of “prolong suffering” in the country by funding “so-called moderate armed opposition forces” that are “dominated by Jihadist militants.”

The group, combining U.K. politicians from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and independents — as well as former Ambassadors to Syria Peter Ford and Lord Green of Deddington — wrote a letter to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that, according to U.K. newspaper The Independent, asserted that the country’s current Syria policy “will ensure that stabilisation and reunification under a unitary authority remain a distant possibility, prolonging the suffering of the Syrian people and weakening the stability of the Middle East as a whole.”

The letter also called for the U.K. government to lift sanctions against government-held portions of Syria, support diplomatic instead of military solutions, and allow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to remain in power. And it spoke against the de facto foreign occupation of Syrian territory in Syria’s northeast, a region that accounts for more than 30 percent of Syria’s total territory as well as most of its oil, gas, fresh water and agricultural resources. British forces are among the other foreign powers, which also include the United States and France, that are currently occupying that territory.

May’s Syria Policy Gets Thumbs Down from Bipartisan Group of UK Pols

Ford, who served as the U.K.’s ambassador to Damascus from 2003 to 2006 under the Blair government, told The Independent that the letter seeks to draw attention to the impacts of current U.K. policies that have not worked and that instead create “the risk of a new conflict.” He noted that sanctions against Syria have been particularly ineffective, as they are only “damaging the Syrian people while doing nothing to hurt the Syrian government.”

Growing opposition in high places

Other well-known British political figures who signed the letter included Baroness Cox and Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, both of whom were heavily criticized for their visit to Syria in 2017 during which they met with a number of religious groups and Syrian state officials. Another signatory, Lord Hylton, has also made trips to Syria, in both 2016 and 2017, and has asserted that Assad has “the support or the acquiescence of most Syrians.”

Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, the U.K. has been an instrumental part of the U.S.-led coalition active in Syria and has also been a major source of funding for armed Syrian opposition groups, having spent millions of pounds on financing such groups since 2012. Many of those groups, particularly those who control the Idlib province of Syria, are either branches or allies of terrorist groups such as al-Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s Syria arm.

Furthermore, the U.K. has been the top financier of the controversial “humanitarian” group known as the White Helmets, whose videos and photos have been used as the basis for grave and often untrue allegations of war crimes against the Syrian government. The U.K. connection to the White Helmets likely goes much deeper than mere financing, as the group itself was founded by a former U.K. military intelligence officer-turned-mercenary, James Le Mesurier.

Though the group’s letter is unlikely to greatly influence the Syria policy of the May-led government, it certainly does show that there is growing dissent among influential current and former U.K. politicians and political figures regarding the U.K.’s long-standing role in foreign-led efforts to overthrow the Syrian government and balkanize the Syrian state.

Top Photo | US and British special forces train Syrian opposition fighters from of the New Syrian Army (NSA) and Jaish Awsoud Al-Sharqiah at an undisclosed site in Jordan. Photo | Al-Masdar

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

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  • Ma_Laoshi

    “U.K.’s long-standing role in foreign-led efforts to … balkanize the Syrian state”
    This hints at the weakness of the earlier statement “current U.K. policies … have not worked”. Yes the Zios have not managed to ditch Assad, but destroying and balkanizing Syria, while snatching its oil, are acceptable consolation prizes. The Syrian carnage is a feature not a bug. Like in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, the most the system will tolerate is expressing … concern … that the Imperial policy was executed incompetently; the question “What gives you the fucking right?” remains off-limits.

    Maybe it’s a case of cold feet now their beloved White Helmets are coming home (though I would not put it above the British to let the transport have an accident, so that only Germans and Canadians get to meet their heroes in their own streets). In fairness, some of these signatories have a track record of being the good guys. But you cannot break the cycle without cleansing your own countries. Even if you’re too cowardly to do what needs to be done with the rascals, say taking away Tony Blair’s dirty money would be a signal that the people know what they’ve been up to. Sadly, it seems it will take a good beating before western populations conclude maybe they should, you know, do something about all this.

    • Jens Holm

      No one wants that sulphur asphalt oil unless they already are very poor. Drop Your illusion.

      It makes much more sense to make vindmills and produce electrity by the sun.

      What You see is more like You have a helmet Yourself, which is too big.

      • Gary Sellars

        There is still huge demand for oil and its products, as most of the planet is nowhere near ready for any mass-scale roll-out of renewables. Pretending otherwise is simply stupid.

  • leon mc pilibin

    The Synagogue of Satan,in action in Syria,plundering and looting ,destroying all for their bankster bosses in HELL AVIV.

    • Jens Holm

      Hard to see.

  • Sinbad2

    Every time May gets bad news, she poisons some people and screams Russia.

    • Bob

      May – toxic & poisonous – lol.

    • Jens Holm

      Really ?

    • She has a long way to go to catch up to Hillzebub’s tally!

  • Jens Holm

    Russians should back off.

    They do the same at our borders with their jets to the limits of the airterritory. They do it in attck mode and also dont announce as they used to after thier collapse.

    Here in the baltic Sea at kalingrad, thay have installed many new missiles, so we have ordered several batteries to defend us from the Scuds to the smaller ones.

    So its not only about May and GB.

    Even Trump is right. Because of that, we have to arm us better and pay the price. We can effort it, but the reasons for it is based on Russians and their behavings.

    That goes for the many other threats against their forner colonies in east as well as countries. They continue to behave as they still are, but they were taken by them by force and political methods of the worst.

    • Gary Sellars

      Sod off Jens… we don’t need to listen to the simpering whines of a dyed-in-the-wool Russophobe. Your views are of no consequence.

      • When Fuhrerin Merkel re-establishes Waffen SS, Jens will be 1st in line to volunteer! :D