Mike challenges Hague on Syria

Here is my exchange with the Foreign Secretary on Monday 15 April where I questioned the wisdom of supplying elements of the Syrian opposition with Surface to Air missiles


Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op):

The Governments of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan armed the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, with unforeseen and terrible long-term consequences. Rather than giving to elements of the Syrian opposition surface-to-air missiles that can shoot down civilian aircraft, would it not be better to consider again whether a no-fly zone, controlled by us, is a better option?

Mr Hague:

All options have to be considered. The hon. Gentleman has asked about the issue several times and has been pursuing it wholly legitimately. My answer is quite similar to the one I gave him last time. To enforce a no-fly zone, there are, again, international legal considerations. It would also require the participation of aircraft on a very large scale, so the decision would essentially be one for the United States, given the scale required. No such decision by the United States has been taken. We are working in an environment where we do not have a no-fly zone and we have to consider the options available to us in the light of that.


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