Monday 16rd April 2018
UKIP deputy leader, Mike Hookem MEP, has slammed Theresa May’s decision to commit the UK’s armed forces to retaliatory strikes against Bashar Al Assad’s regime, saying the Prime Minister is “doing a Tony Blair” by involving British forces in Syria using “scant, sketchy and unconfirmed intelligence.”
Mr Hookem – a former soldier – made his comments before a House of Commons debate on Theresa May’s decision NOT to seek the approval of Parliament in committing UK Forces to action.
Drawing parallels between Saturday’s airstrikes and Tony Blair’s disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mr Hookem said; “Too often we have seen the results of taking military action in the Middle East based on scant, sketch and unreliable evidence.”
“You only have to look at the state today of both Libya and Iraq to understand the ramifications of politicians giving in to international pressure and going off half-cocked. Airstrikes are a blunt instrument that alone, will not force regime change. It would take a full-scale invasion to protect the Syrian population against these terrible weapons; something I don’t see happening anytime soon due to Russia’s backing of the Assad regime.
“All May has achieved, is to poke an already aggravated Russian ‘bear’, at a time of already high tensions.
“What many members of the public and I want to know is, where is the solid evidence that these attacks were perpetrated by Al Assad; and I don’t mean the television pictures showing people having water poured over their heads?
“Other than vague assurances from rent-a-quote political friends of May, I have yet to see the case made for British forces to be involved in strikes on Syria! By rushing into airstrikes, Theresa May has also managed to undermine the experts of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) who are only beginning their inspection today.
“Frankly, the British people are sick and tired of our politicians taking us into highly costly conflicts that do not concern us. This is especially the case when Britain has to play second-fiddle to France and the US due to years of under-funding and lack of investment in basic kit.
“Look at the British crew of a billion-pound Type 45 Destroyer, who could only look at the blank space on the deck where a missile launcher that was cut to save cash should have sat, while the US and French operated their ships as originally intended.
“No longer will we stand by and allow British politicians to sacrifice our sons and daughters serving in the armed forces on a political whim based on dodgy intelligence and iffy videos."