Air strikes on ISIL will ‘create more terrorists’, warns Manchester Syrian group

Military intervention in Syria will cause more groups to radicalise and expose Britain to ‘greater vulnerabilities’, warns UK’s leading Syrian group.

The Syrian Community of Manchester claim that the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, is a breeding ground for terrorists.

So even if ISIL were destroyed, it will be replaced by another.

This response comes after Parliament voted for military action in Syria, as the motion passed by 397 votes to 223 after a 10 hour debate.

Yasmine Nahlawi, advocacy and policy coordinator for Rethink, Rebuild Society (i.e. the Syrian Community Of Manchester) believes the government’s action against ISIL will be futile.

She told MM: “Our involvement in the Coalition will not necessarily make the UK safer from the threat posed by terrorist groups.

“Nor is it expected to have any significant impact in addressing radicalisation on the ground in Syria.

“Rather, it very much has the potential to fan the flames of radicalisation and therefore expose us to greater vulnerabilities.

“Without first addressing the Assad regime’s indiscriminate use of force in Syria, which created the violence, chaos, and destruction that allowed for the emergence of terrorist groups in Syria, we cannot begin to tackle the threat posed by ISIL.

“In the current situation, even a successful military campaign against ISIL will lead to the emergence of similar groups to fill the void created by the Assad regime’s destruction.”

British military intervention in Syria has come under huge scrutiny, particularly from David Cameron’s opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

In a recent article in the Guardian, Corbyn explained how Cameron has been ‘entirely unable’ to explain how bombing Syria would contribute to a comprehensive solution to the Syrian civil war.

He makes the point that ISIL grew out of the invasion of Iraq, but has benefitted in Syria amid the multi-front conflict, adding that Cameron’s solution is to ‘bomb first, talk later’.

Ms. Nahlawi echoes these sentiments, and believes support and protection is needed for the moderate opposition that are combating ISIL and for civilians, who they trying to protect.

She said: “Without addressing the Assad regime’s indiscriminate aerial bombardments, we will not be able to convince Syrian moderate opposition forces to cooperate with us in our fight against ISIL.

“It should be recalled that Syrians themselves have been on the front lines against ISIL.

“However, to expect them to turn their efforts against ISIL while they are being bombed from the sky by Assad, and now Russian, forces is wishful thinking.

“We therefore need to ensure support and protection for the moderate opposition and for the civilians which they fight for in order for them to effectively combat ISIL on the ground.

“We do not expect that the UK’s involvement with the Coalition will lead to any success in combating ISIL as long as civilians remain unprotected from Assad and Russia’s indiscriminate aerial bombardments.

“We will continue to campaign for a comprehensive solution to the Syrian conflict, which holds at its core civilian protection.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson announced yesterday that RAF Tornado jets carried out their first air strikes against ISIL.

They claimed the strikes were a ‘success’.

Image courtesy of Alisdare Hickson, with thanks.

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