UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn says he might halt the country’s airstrikes in Syria if he is elected prime minister in the upcoming general elections on June 8, arguing that “the bombing campaign has killed a large number of civilians.”
Speaking to BBC on Sunday, Corbyn said the ongoing conflict in Syria would only be resolved through dialogue and international peace efforts.
“At the end of the day, the only solution in Syria is going to be a political one. There is no other way of getting it. There has to be a reconvening quickly of the Geneva process,” Corbyn said, referring to the failed UN-brokered negotiations between the Syrian government and the so-called opposition groups, which have taken place intermittently since 2012 in the Swiss city of Geneva.
“I want us to say listen, let’s get people around the table quickly and a way of achieving that, suspend the strikes possibly, that’s one way.”
“What is the objective here? Is the objective to start more strikes which may kill many innocent people, as has happened, or is the objective to get a political solution in Syria? Approach it from that position," he further argued.
The government of incumbent British Prime Minister Theresa May has been partaking in airstrikes conducted by a US-led coalition against purported Daesh (ISIL) positions in Iraq and Syria since 2014.
The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians, without being able to fulfill its declared aim of defeating Daesh.
As a veteran peace activist, Corbyn has long been critical of London's involvement in US-led wars across the world.
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The main opposition leader, whose party is struggling to close a wide popularity gap with the ruling Tories, said he would relay the same message to US President Donald Trump.
“I would say to President Trump, listen, it’s in nobody’s interest for this war to continue let’s get the Geneva process going quickly and in the meantime no more strikes, have the UN investigation into the war crime of the [suspected] use of chemical weapons in Syria and take it on from there.”
Earlier this month, the new US president ordered two US Navy warships in the Mediterranean to fire 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase, in retaliation for what the Pentagon said was a chemical attack by Syrian warplanes operating from the base in Idlib province.