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Reference code: 
UP1511
Status: 
Lapsed
Date passed: 
15/12/2015
Date lapses: 
14/12/2017
PDF file: 

This Union notes

  1. That Parliament voted by a majority of 397-223 to join the coalition of nations conducting airstrikes against Daesh targets in Syria.
  2. That the military intervention in Syria is the fourth major military intervention by the British government in the past 14 years and none of the previous wars have yet ended.
  3. That one airstrike mission alone will reportedly cost £508,000.
  4. That the government’s claim that there are 70,000 moderate soldiers in Syria who are ready to fight Daesh on the ground, has been disputed in recent days after the vote by senior MoD and Whitehall officials.
  5. Other countries have already been bombing Daesh in Syria and it has continued to exist and function.
  6. The British government has no solid plan for a diplomatic settlement.
  7. The British government has no credible exit strategy or goal for this military engagement.

This Union believes

  1. The murder of innocent civilians by any force is evil, horrific and unjustified.
  2. The murder of innocent civilians by Western governments in particular will only lead to the propagation of further turbulence and terrorism in the region.
  3. Hundreds if not thousands of innocent civilians are likely to die as a result of the action taken.
  4. The decision to bomb Syria was rushed and a credible case has not been made.
  5. That numerous demonstrations by the public were ignored and the decision made was not representative of the majority.
  6. That at a time when nearly every public department and sector are seeing their budgets slashed in the name of austerity, this is an unjustifiable expenditure.
  7. The situation in Syria is a complex one with multiple groups involved, not focusing on the complete picture with a coherent strategy for long term stability and peace will be counterproductive. Therefore, any solution for intervention must take into account all conflicts including those between Syrian rebels and Assad.
  8. A solution for intervention must take in to account President Assad. Between January and July this year, President Assad’s forces were responsible for 7 times as many civilian deaths within Syria as Daesh (According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights).  The solution and roadmap to peace must include solutions, which resolve all conflicting angles, including the rule of President Assad. 
  9. While all parties would agree that Daesh continues to pose an international threat and must be combated, thoughtless bombing is not the answer, especially since there isn’t an overall diplomatic solution.

This Union resolves

  1. To stand with the victims of terror globally, no matter the perpetrators.
  2. That UCLU puts out a public statement to condemn the decision made to bomb Syria by the British government.
  3. To continue all efforts to support refugees fleeing from the Middle East, who must now escape the evil of Daesh on the ground and the horror of Western bombs from above.
  4. This should also include lobbying the university to offer scholarships to refugees as other universities have already done so