MP calls for intervention to support humanitarian efforts

MP calls for intervention to support humanitarian efforts

MILITARY action is needed to support humanitarian efforts in Syria, MP and former aid worker Jo Cox said.

Mrs Cox (Lab, Batley and Spen) called for a no-fly zone to be enforced inside the war-torn country.

Her stance, in which she called Syria the “biggest humanitarian crisis of our time”, made national headlines.

The former head of policy for Oxfam appeared on BBC programme The Daily Politics on Monday.

It comes after groups across the area – including in Batley and Cleckheaton – raised funds for refugees.

Mrs Cox spoke in the House of Commons on Monday at the launch of a new parliamentary group she is jointly leading.

She also outlined a strategy for Syria with group co-chairman Andrew Mitchell MP, the Tory former international development secretary.

It calls for a mix of humanitarian, political and military intervention which must happen together.

She said: “We have to challenge two key myths: Firstly, that Isis is the only threat to peace, stability and civilians in Syria.

“President Assad is killing his own people with impunity. Both have flourished due to the absence of a concerted international response and both must be stopped.

“The second myth is that our response has to be humanitarian, diplomatic or military.

“An effective, ethical response has to include all three. There is no military solution to this conflict, but there has to be a military aspect to a broader strategy.” In a separate piece for Labourlist.org Mrs Cox said lessons have to be learned from the Iraq War.

She wrote: “I opposed the war in Iraq because I believed the risk to civilian lives was too high and their protection was never the central objective, or even a high priority.

“I knew, as we all knew, that President Bush wasn’t motivated by protecting civilians but by weapons of mass destruction and a misguided neo-con view of the U.S. strategic interest.

“But we must remember that Syria is not Iraq. We have to learn the lessons of Iraq, without being paralysed by it.

“And we have to learn the lessons of Iraq without forgetting the lessons of Bosnia or Rwanda.

“The history of Iraq overshadows us all and it should. But its legacy is already awful enough without supplementing it with a new legacy of turning the other way when confronted with Syria.”

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