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Us Troop Withdrawal from Northern Syria

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:41 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 12:41 pm, 8th October 2019

It is now just under four years since this House agreed to UK airstrikes in Syria, and it is worth reminding ourselves that, first of all, we were assured that that was part of a strategy that was expected to restore civilian transitional Government to Syria in about six months. The Foreign Secretary who gave that assurance is now Prime Minister, so he is in a position to do something about it, but the success of the airstrikes against an organisation that was accepted to be a grave threat to our lives and to our security could only be achieved because of the involvement of Kurdish soldiers on the ground. Those Kurds have paid a terrible price: around 11,000 of them lost their lives and several times that number were seriously injured. They died not only to protect their territory, but so that British troops did not have to die protecting our way of life. Will the Minister accept that the very least we can do in recognition of the debt we owe to the Kurdish soldiers is to give an assurance that we will not stand back and let things happen to them if we could have prevented it?