Voltaire Network

U.K. House of Commons opposes weapons delivery to "rebels" in Syria


The UK Parliament Intelligence and Security Committee delivered its annual report on 10 July 2013.
It states: "The Agencies and JTAC assess that Al-Qaeda elements and individual jihadists in Syria currently represent the most worrying emerging terrorist threat to the UK and the West. There is a risk of extremist elements in Syria taking advantage of the permissive environment to develop external attack plans, including against Western targets. Large numbers of radicalised individuals have been attracted to the country, including significant numbers from the UK and Europe. They are likely to acquire expertise and experience which could significantly increase the threat posed when they return home. furthermore, there is growing concern about the risks around extremist groups in Syria gaining access to regime stocks of chemical weapons.”

Thereupon, the House of Commons adopted, by a vote of 114 to 1, a motion filed by the conservative John Baron [photo], specifying that "No lethal support should be provided to anti-government forces in Syria without the explicit prior consent of Parliament."

UK is equipping Syrian opposition forces with £650,000 of protective equipment against chemical

Indirectly responding to the MPs, Foreign Minister William Hague informed Parliament in writing that £650,000 (nearly 750,000 euros) worth of protective equipment against chemical weapons would be send to the rebels [1].

The decision by the House of Commons comes on the heels of a similar one adopted by the Congress of the United States [2]. In the circumstances, Mr Hague’s comes across as a political communication.

Attached documents


[1] "Statement to Parliament on the provision of chemical weapons protective equipment to the Syrian Opposition", William Hague, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 16 July 2013.

[2] “Congress against arms delivery to Syrian ’rebels’”, Voltaire Network, 29 June 2013.

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