The extension of offensive British military operations to Syria Contents

Formal Minutes

Thursday 29 October 2015

Members present:

Crispin Blunt, in the Chair

Mr John Baron

Ann Clwyd

Mike Gapes

Stephen Gethins

Daniel Kawczynski

Andrew Rosindell

Draft Report (The extension of offensive British military operations to Syria), proposed by the Chair, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1 and 2 read and agreed to.

Paragraph 3 read.

Amendment proposed, in line 1, after “debate.” to insert “It does not consider the reasons for the peaceful protests in Syria in 2011. It does not look at the way in which the Assad regime brutally suppressed those protests and then began bombing civilian areas. It does not consider the reasons for the inadequate international response to the deteriorating situation in Syria. It does not look at the reasons why the United States, the United Kingdom or regional allies failed to intervene to protect the civilian population. It does not consider the case for and against establishing safe havens, humanitarian corridors or a No Fly zone as was done by John Major’s government in Iraq in 1991. It does not consider the causes of, or responsibility for, the 250,000 Syrians so far killed, and the half of the population forced to leave their homes in the last four years, 7 million internally displaced and 4 million as refugees, in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, or now in Europe and elsewhere. It does not look at the role of regional actors including Hizbollah, Iran or Iraqi Shia militias fighting on behalf of the Assad regime. It does not consider the role of Turkey as a supporter of Sunni opponents to Assad, nor of its ongoing conflict with the Kurds. It does not look at the reasons for the recent decision by Russia to intervene forcefully and with airstrikes against all groups opposed to the Assad regime, including some which are supported by the USA.”—(Mike Gapes.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 2

Noes, 4

Mike Gapes

Mr John Baron

Ann Clwyd

Stephen Gethins

Daniel Kawczynski

Andrew Rosindell

Question accordingly negatived.

Paragraph agreed to.

Paragraphs 4 to 18 agreed to.

Paragraph 19 read.

Amendment proposed, in line 4, to leave out from “members.” to the end of the paragraph and add “Although a United Nations Security Council Resolution might be desirable for more than simply legal reasons, as it would require negotiation between all parties and compromise to achieve it, such a UN resolution is extremely unlikely.”—(Mike Gapes.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 2

Noes, 4

Mike Gapes

Mr John Baron

Ann Clwyd

Stephen Gethins

Daniel Kawczynski

Andrew Rosindell

Question accordingly negatived.

Paragraph agreed to.

Paragraphs 20 to 32 read and agreed to.

Paragraph 33 read.

Amendment proposed, in line 7, to leave out from “However,” to the end of the paragraph and add “although we would support extension of British military action against Daesh into Syria, we believe there is also an urgent need for a coherent international strategy that has a realistic chance of both defeating ISIL/Daesh and also of ending the civil war in Syria.”—(Mike Gapes.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 2

Noes, 4

Mike Gapes

Mr John Baron

Ann Clwyd

Stephen Gethins

Daniel Kawczynski

Andrew Rosindell

Question accordingly negatived.

Paragraph agreed to.

Paragraph 34 read.

Amendment proposed, in line 2, to leave out “finding a” and insert “ending the humanitarian catastrophe, reducing the flow of refugees and internally displaced people, establishing safe areas, no fly zones and international protection within Syria, and finding a longer term”—(Mike Gapes.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 2

Noes, 4

Mike Gapes

Mr John Baron

Ann Clwyd

Stephen Gethins

Daniel Kawczynski

Andrew Rosindell

Question accordingly negatived.

Paragraph agreed to.

Paragraph 35 agreed to.

Paragraph 36 read.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the paragraph.—(Mike Gapes.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 2

Noes, 4

Mike Gapes

Mr John Baron

Ann Clwyd

Stephen Gethins

Daniel Kawczynski

Andrew Rosindell

Question accordingly negatived.

Paragraph agreed to.

Summary read and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Report be the Second Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chair make the Report to the House.

Ordered, That the following written evidence be reported to the House for publication on the internet:

Letter from the Committee Chair to Professor Michael Clarke, dated 15 September 2015

Note from Professor Michael Clarke answering questions from the Committee, dated 26 October 2015

Background briefing on main factions in Syria, supplied by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi on 7 September 2015

Ordered, That embargoed copies of the Report be made available, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 134.

[Adjourned till Tuesday 3 November at 2.30 pm




© Parliamentary copyright 2015

Prepared 2 November 2015