Plaid Cymru condemns the apparent chemical attack in the town of Douma in Syria, which led to the reported deaths of at least 70 people in appalling circumstances.
However, the reality is that such acts of violence, which are war crimes, will continue until the international community reaches an appropriate agreement on de-escalating and then ending the civil war.
Following last year’s chemical attack in Khan Younis, which was later attributed by the UN and OPCW to the Syrian government, Plaid Cymru stated that “Plaid Cymru condemns all such attacks on civilians, and also the less widely reported deaths of civilians from conventional weapons. The only solution to reduce and then end this violence is to bring about a comprehensive peace process, requiring the buy-in of the United States and Russia, and the other countries which have intervened in Syria”
This remains the case today. It must be understood that the bloodshed will continue until the two largest powers who have intervened in the conflict agree to work to bring it to an end. With Assad’s government supported by Russia, and the United States and its allies supporting a range of other forces, the multi-faceted nature of the civil war has become normalised and there is no prospect of any one side attaining a complete victory. This means that an internationally brokered peace settlement is required, which would have to be overseen by the United Nations.
We now await UK Government proposals on what diplomatic role it can undertake in relation to the crisis. Our Members of Parliament will study any constructive proposal from the UK Government which might contribute to securing a lasting peace and allow all Syrians the space for reconciliation. If UK military action is proposed, there must be a debate and a parliamentary vote.
Plaid Cymru also urges the wider approach to the conflict to include justice for the Kurds of Rojava and for their rights to be respected as any solution is developed.
Finally, with the human cost of war so visible in recent days, we continue to make clear that Syrian refugees deserve the support of humanity and must be assisted by those nations who benefit from lives of peace and security.