Answers Needed Over Civilian Deaths in Syria

This week the SNP has built on work I started, calling on the UK Government to comment on reports linking civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq to UK airstrikes. Just last month I tabled an early day motion calling for clarity over the UK Government’s policy on reviewing reports of civilian casualties.

In a letter to Michael Fallon MP this week, Brendan O’Hara has asked if he would confirm independent reports on coalition airstrikes in Syria resulting in several civilian deaths. Non-governmental organisations such as AirWars and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights show that over 17th-18th February this year, 15 civilians were killed including three children.

With serious reports of civilian casualties, including children, it is time Mr Cameron gave a report to the house, updating us on the consequences of our involvement in Syria.

Both David Cameron and Michael Fallon made a commitment this year to ‘look at any evidence brought forward in open source reporting by other organisations’ stating that ‘if people make allegations we must look at them.’ The SNP has brought these reports to their attention it is time they responded.

We are dealing with children’s lives here, David Cameron must not hide behind secrecy but give a full and transparent report of our actions in Syria. We are currently involved in a war and with that comes great responsibility.

When we entered Syria we did so with the understanding that there would be regular updates and transparency over coalition airstrikes, these commitments must be honoured.

Picture from Defence Images