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Denouncing Rush to War, Corbyn Calls for Peace Talks and 'Withdrawal of All Foreign Forces' From Syria

"Further U.K. military intervention in Syria's appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict."

 Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, launches Labour's local election campaign at Stretford Sports Village on March 22, 2018 in Stretford, England. (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

With U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly mulling his "options" for a military attack on Syria while continuing to issue belligerent threats on Twitter, U.K. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned the Tory government on Friday for "waiting for instructions" from Trump and demanded an immediate resumption of peace talks.

"The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent."
—Jeremy Corbyn, U.K. Labour Leader

"The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent. We must do everything we can, no matter how challenging, to bring that about," Corbyn said in a statement. "The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides."

Corbyn's call for negotiations over further military intervention in a conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions comes as the Tory government—led by Prime Minister Theresa May—is keeping the U.K. in line with the U.S. and France "on a steady march" toward attacks on Syria, according to Politico.

In his statement on Friday, Corbyn argued that ramping up the U.K.'s already significant role in Syria would risk "escalating an already devastating conflict."

Read Corbyn's full statement below:

Further U.K. military intervention in Syria's appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict.

The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed. But the U.S. administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.

Even U.S. defense secretary James Mattis has said we "don't have evidence" and warned further military action could "escalate out of control".

Ministers should take their proposals, such as they are, to parliament. And Britain should press for an independent U.N.-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.

Rather than further military action, what is urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under U.N. auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.

The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent. We must do everything we can, no matter how challenging, to bring that about.

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