An Orkney campaign group has organised a protest against the illegal bombing of Syria which took place in the early hours of Saturday morning by Forces of the US, France and the UK.
The event by Orkney Resists is to take place on Monday 16th April on the steps of the St Magnus Cathedral at 6pm.
Over 100 missiles were launched at targets in Syria by the US , France and the UK. A United Nations investigative team was due to arrive to look into the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government in the town of Douma. The town had recently been evacuated by the defeated rebel ISIL forces.
The bombing of Syria by the US, France and UK was not approved by the UN and is an illegal act.
The organisers of the Orkney event state:
“A vigil for peace to recognise that no situation, no matter how awful, is ever improved by air strikes which will inevitably kill a civilian population and further weaken the infrastructure of country already in crisis.
“The actions of the USA, supported by the UK, in launching missiles at Syria on 13th April need to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
“This vigil is intended to show our dismay and anger at the developing situation and provide a space for discussion about what we can do. There will also the opportunity for quiet reflection.
“Bring along banners, flowers, candles etc, whatever you would like to bring.”
A statement from the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said:
“My thoughts this morning are with service personnel called to action.
“We cannot tolerate Syria’s use of chemical weapons on a civilian population – but there has been no explanation from the Prime Minister or the President on how this action, taken without parliament’s approval, will halt the use of chemical weapons or contribute to a long term peace in the area.
“Air strikes by US and UK forces have not resolved the situation in Syria in the past and I am not persuaded they will do so now.
“This action risks not just further escalating the civil war in Syria but also a dangerous escalation of international tensions. There must be urgent confirmation from the Prime Minister that there will be no further action and no change to the role of UK military in regards to Syria without a full parliamentary debate.
“An international strategy is urgently required to bring peace and stability to the region. UK foreign policy should be aimed at reaching an international consensus not simply complying with Presidential wishes.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“A significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.
“This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped – not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons.
“We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this.
“But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack. It is thought that 75 people died in the Douma attack. It is not known how many have been killed in the bombing raid by the US, France and UK.
“So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime.”
Across the UK, however, parliamentarians are shocked as to why the action went ahead before the UN investigators had arrived and without the assent of Parliament. Theresa May presides over a minority Government kept in power by a £1billion tax payer pay off to the DUP
Over 100 missiles were launched with the Syrian Government forces claiming to have shot down over 70 of them. Four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s were used. They launched Storm Shadow missiles at a former missile base 15 miles West of the city of Homs. Each UK missile is estimated to have cost £800,000. It is not known how far contamination would spread if there were chemical weapons stored there. Homs has a population of 200,000.