My thoughts on Syria

The chemical attack on Syrian civilians and President Trump’s bombing of a Syrian airbase in retaliation is yet further evidence that tensions globally are dangerously high.

The response from constituents over the past week shows the strength of feeling towards the Syrian people’s plight and really pays tribute to how compassionate the people of Alyn and Deeside are.

Indeed, millions of people continue to suffer in Syria. Over 13 million of those Syrians who have stayed there are in need of humanitarian assistance as they continue to face indiscriminate attacks, including the use of barbaric chemical weapons like we saw last week.

As you are more than likely aware, President Trump authorised an airstrike last week using Tomahawk cruise missiles against the al-Shayrat airbase near Homs, where Syrian government forces are thought to have launched the sarin nerve gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun.

The pictures of dying children and civilians exposed to the chemical gas were harrowing and distressing. These pictures may have played a large part on Western policy swerving towards the direct targeting of military facilities run by the government rather than solely focusing on defeating Isis and Al-Qaeda with unreliable air strikes.

This response by the Trump administration is like nothing else that has preceded it during this conflict and represents a seismic change in policy. I think it’s good that Asad is now well aware that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated; however it is certainly worrying that that something so drastic could happen outside the UN, especially when you consider Trump’s unpredictability and apparent lack of reason.

Ultimately, the only way to end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people is through peace talks and a comprehensive political settlement. I hope that talks at the UN in Geneva will continue as soon as possible and it is imperative that the UK Government continue to be fully engaged in discussions on how to bring this conflict to an end as soon as possible.