Britain is considering to intervene military in Syria, but any action would need to be part of a broader coalition, foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, a few days after calling to investigate Russia over war crimes in Syria
Mr. Johnson condemned the “barbaric” assaults of the Assad regime that he said are being carried out with the “connivance” of Russia and Iran.
The British government lost a 2013 parliamentary vote over plans to bomb the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but has been involved in bombing raids against Islamic State in Syria since winning the support of lawmakers last December.
“It is right now that we should be looking again at the more kinetic options, the military options,” Johnson told a committee of lawmakers. “But we must be realistic about how these in fact work, and what is deliverable.”
“We can’t do anything without a coalition, without doing it with the Americans. I think we’re still a pretty long day’s march from getting there but that doesn’t mean that discussions aren’t going on because they certainly are.”
also said it was important not to raise false hopes over the idea of a no-fly zone over parts of Syria to prevent the Russian and Syrian government air strikes on Aleppo.
“We know the difficulties and implications of a no-fly zone or a no bombing zone,” he said. “But if there is more that we can reasonably and practically do together with our allies, then, of course, we should consider those measures.”
The comment sparked a quick reaction from the Kremlin, with a spokesman saying any action would be welcome provided it targeted “terrorists”, not the forces of Bashar al-Assad.
Russia should be investigated for Syrian war crimes
Russia should be investigated for war crimes in the Syrian city of Aleppo and risks becoming a pariah nation, Mr. Johnson said on October 11.
Boris Johnson, said “the mills of justice grind slowly, but they grind small” as he predicted those responsible for war crimes in Syria would eventually face charges before the international criminal court.
Johnson’s remarks underline the degree to which relations between Russia and the west have deteriorated to levels not seen since the end of the cold war.
He also called for demonstrations outside the Russian embassy in London and asked why left-wing protest groups seemed to lack the outrage over Russian conduct in Syria. “I would certainly like to see demonstrations outside the Russian embassy. Where is the Stop the War coalition?”
He added: “If Russia continues on its current path I believe that this great country is in danger of becoming a pariah nation, and if President [Vladimir] Putin’s strategy is to restore the greatness and the glory of Russia, then I believe he risks his ambition turning to ashes in the face of international contempt for what is happening in Syria.”