Peace activists condemn Mitchell’s demands for no-fly zone
PEACE campaigners voiced horror yesterday at the “dangerously irresponsible” posturing of disgraced Tory MP Andrew Mitchell, who called on the West to “confront” Russian warplanes over Syria.
The former international development secretary said that civilians in the city of Aleppo, which the Syrian government is waging a bloody struggle to wrest back from the control of al-Qaida-linked extremists, should be protected from Syrian and Russian bombing.
He urged Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to work with Washington to implement a “no-fly zone” where Western aircraft would take on their Russian equivalents.
But the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) pointed out that “in practice no-fly zones are not humanitarian corridors but bombing runs, a fact recognised by Hillary Clinton in 2013 when she advised that ‘to have a no-fly zone you have to take out all the air defences … you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians.”
A “no-fly zone” over Libya in 2011 was used by the United States, Britain and France to bomb Libyan troops, paving the way for a takeover by radical Islamists, permanent civil war and the current emergence of Isis in the country.
STWC convener Lindsey German told the Star that Mr Mitchell had been “plugging this stuff for some time.
“He has said that because Turkey shot down a Russian jet and it didn’t lead to world war we can do it too.
“But the reality is it will attract retaliation and create a much bigger war.
“A whole number of countries are bombing Syria already, and that’s not to mention the Saudi bombing of Yemen.
“Do we want to pour more fuel on those flames?
“This summer we’ve had a series of reports — the Chilcot inquiry on Iraq and another that concluded David Cameron’s war in Libya was also disastrous, and yet we’re now hearing more warmongering from people who should know better.”