Arms Trade: Syria

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th October 2015.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have considered a comprehensive mandatory ban on the supply of arms and equipment to all of the combatants in Syria.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

We do not consider that a comprehensive mandatory ban on the supply of arms and equipment to all of the combatants in Syria would be advisable. EU-Syria trade embargoes prohibit the exportation of jet fuel, chemical weapons (and precursors) to Syria. EU sanctions have denied many of the regime’s pre-war funding streams, limited its supply of non-conventional arms, reduced its access to key resources and increased pressure on Assad from those close to him. UN Security Council Resolution 2170 prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of arms and equipment to ISIL, Al Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida. The UK supplies non-lethal goods to the Moderate Opposition to protect civilians and save lives. We assess all export licence applications on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, and have one of the most robust export licensing systems in the world.

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