The situation in Aleppo

I have been contacted by a number of people regarding the current situation in Aleppo.

I spoke in parliament at the Emergency Debate on Aleppo earlier this week. You can read the full debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2016-12-13/debates/16121344000001/AleppoSyriaInternationalAction.

I share the anger expressed by many over the situation in Aleppo and I am appalled by what has happened. Every worst prediction that was made two months ago, when we held our previous emergency debate on Syria, has come to fruition. From the intensification of the grotesque war crimes being committed by Russia and the Assad regime, to the worsening of the humanitarian crisis, with thousands of desperate civilians still trapped in Aleppo. This is indeed a global, collective failure.

On Tuesday, I put several points to the Government about the action that we must now take. We must take every diplomatic step to press Russia and Iran to allow safe passage from east Aleppo for everyone - remaining fighters and their families, as well as doctors, journalists and others.

We must also consider how we will get humanitarian relief to those civilians still left in east Aleppo, as well as those who have fled elsewhere. Whether through airdrops, unmanned drones or GPS-guided parachutes, it is crucial that this aid reaches Aleppo, even if Russia and the Assad regime continue to block convoys of aid by road.

And finally, we must ensure that we stop Raqqa, and other cities, from turning into repeats of what we have seen in Aleppo.

I called on the Foreign Secretary to tell us what exactly was the government’s strategy on Syria was, but he failed to provide an answer. I am deeply concerned by Boris Johnson’s response. His attitude seems to be that the only appropriate action we could have taken was to vote for military force to have been used in 2013, and that since then it has been impossible to provide relief for the people of Aleppo.

Inaction is not an option, and I can assure you that I will continue to do whatever I can to help bring about an end to this horrendous situation.



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