Destroying ‘Prospects of Peace,’ UK Begins Bombing of Syria

Written by on December 4, 2015 in Government, Military with 25 Comments
Image Source: flickr

Image Source: flickr

By Nadia Prupis | Common Dreams

Amid warnings that “new war will not increase the prospects of peace,” the UK carried outits first airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, just hours after members of Parliament voted to expand the use of military force in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Related Article: How Western Intervention Fuels ‘Terrorism’

Four Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets were seen taking off from a base in Cyprus and returning without their weapons early Thursday morning. The Ministry of Defense confirmed that the planes had taken part in the UK's “first offensive operation in Syria and conducted strikes.”

“A new war will not increase the prospects of peace in Syria, nor will the British people be safer from terrorism.” —Stop the War Coalition

On Wednesday night, Parliament debated for more than 11 hours on whether to authorize bombings in Syria, eventually voting to approve them 397-223, despite widespread outcry against military action from the public and anti-war MPs like Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“British service men and women will now be in harm's way and the loss of innocent lives is sadly almost inevitable,” Corbyn said following the vote.

Thursday's strikes were reportedly focused on six targets in an oilfield in eastern Syria, which Defense Secretary Michael Fallon called “one of the largest and most important to Daesh's financial operations.”

At least two Syrian diaspora groups, Raqqa Is Slowly Dying and the Manchester-based Rethink Rebuild Society, immediately rebuffed those comments, warning instead that targeting oilfields would have no positive impact for the coalition or for Syrian citizens—and could in fact send ISIS an influx of new recruits.

As Raqqa Is Slowly Dying's Sarmad Al Jilane wrote in a blog post published Monday, the U.S.-led coalition already conducting airstrikes in Syria has made no progress against ISIS. “[T]he oil extraction operations were not affected significantly because the extraction methods are primitive, and the bombing of these wells will not detriment to the financial cycle associated to the oil sector,” Al Jilane wrote.

Middle East experts have also cautioned that targeting oilfields cuts off Syrian civilians from the infrastructure that they depend on for daily life and stirs opposition to the West's cause.

As Tim Eaton, project manager for Chatham House's Syria and Its Neighbours Policy Initiative, told the Guardian on Thursday:

What happens a lot of the time is that we are presented with this premise that bombing terrorists is a good thing to do and that we oppose Isis and that there may be some civilian casualties which are unfortunate collateral in those strikes.

Taking out oil at the well-head means that while Isis is unable to generate profit from the sale of that oil, civilians that rely on it to heat their homes and run their vehicles will no longer have it.

Related Article: Here’s Proof That the U.S. Government Wanted ISIS To Emerge In Syria

What we often do not consider is that even soft targets such as oil infrastructure and the infrastructure targets that the defence secretary was talking about today in IS-controlled areas are also the infrastructure that the civilians in those areas rely upon.

Much has been made of Shadow Foreign Secretary and Labour MP Hilary Benn's impassioned speech during the debate in the House of Commons, which some said was instrumental in galvanizing a ‘Yes' vote by calling for the UK to “confront the evil” of ISIS. But out of the frenzy of lavishing responses, some critical voices emerged to castigate Benn for his “familiar invocation of the just war doctrine,” as British journalist Sam Kriss put it in a piece for VICE.

“For those who stand in solidarity with the Syrian people, you cannot say that the decision to send more bombs by the U.K. airplanes will do anything to help them.” —Asad Rehman

Benn's speech “was not the masterstroke of a consummate statesman; it was disingenuous nonsense,” Kriss wrote. “Benn has form here: he voted for the 2003 war in Iraq (making him far more responsible for the rise of Isis than some of the people who will die in the airstrikes he’s so passionately promoting) and the disastrous 2011 air war in Libya…. As if our sincere good wishes mean anything when we're lobbing bombs at a city from 30,000 feet.”

The UK-based Stop the War Coalition also expressed its opposition to the authorization, stating Thursday, “There is no good case for British airstrikes in a war which is already seeing the two major military powers, the U.S. and Russia, bombing Syria.”

Related Article: With War Now Displacing 60 Million, Time for World to ‘Reaffirm Its Humanity’

“A new war will not increase the prospects of peace in Syria, nor will the British people be safer from terrorism,” the group said.

As the coalition's former national organizer Asad Rehman told Democracy Now! on Thursday, “We know that the Syrian people have endured a tragic, violent war. Millions of people have been forced to be refugees. And hundreds of thousands of people continue to be killed each year. And they're being killed by the bombs of all sides. And for those who stand in solidarity with the Syrian people, you cannot say that the decision to send more bombs by the U.K. airplanes will do anything to help them.”

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  1.' Learn the Hidden Truth says:

    Follow us to learn the hidden truth

  2.' Valerie Anne Corbyn says:

    IMO this will escalate soon. Countries will start taking sides .. or a “accidental” downing of another plane will give a false flag and then we are off. just the way they want it.. Making rich men richer and people more fearful so more laws can be bought in.. Most people to busy watching the soaps to see it coming just how they like it..

    •' Colin Mitchell says:

      Just waiting for the arming of all police in the uk , for our own safety and all that nonsense , with the daily dose of fear on the idiot box the soap watching sheeple will welcome the idea

  3.' Karen Grindstaff says:

    I have no more faith in this world

    •' Valerie Anne Corbyn says:

      Fat lady has not sung yet! there is always hope, look around your personal world and see the goodness there. That is real life. Most people are kind but so many believe the media and make people fearful. you take care x

  4.' Erik Albert says:

    War is only absolutely refreshing when it’s a direct result of world domination desires. Anything else than that, is absolutely pointless.

  5.' Reinhard Paul says:

    Bombing for Peace is like Fucking for Virginity

  6.' Jasmine Leigh says:

    If you are against bombing ISIS in Syria, please reply to this comment with your solution for defeating ISIS and the dangerous ideologies and extremist violence that is taking over the world. In all seriousness, please state your proposed solution. I am interested to hear what you’d do differently.

    •' Robin Mark Shepperson says:

      That’s a tricky one; I believe the following steps would have to happen…

      1. Demand a full investigation into the origins of ISIS, for another words, who armed them, when and why?

      2. Open up dialogue between the ruling powers for settlement, not territorial empowerment.

      3. Disseminate all articles of photography of what this bombing is actually doing.

      4. Repeal any attempts to silence conspiracy theories and open up to alternative analysis.

      5. Agree a cease fire of all sides first.

      6. Agree larger shipments of food and humanitarian supplies if the cease fire holds, and resupply as an ongoing incentive.

      7. Display a rebuild plan employing initial populations of affect zones creating employment and team work.

      8. Demand a review of all evidence for justifying bombing raids in the first place.

      9. Demand an investigation into Rothschild banking links.

      10. Demand an investigation into Turk and Eastern oil links created by cooperation with terrorist factions.

      11. Imprison all those responsible for crimes against humanity, they may have a reduced sentence if they sponsor the recovery and rebuild plans of cities they helped destroy.

      12. Seize all banking assets obtained illegally via illicit conflict and sell it off to raise money for aid.

      If I think of someone else I’ll let you know.

    •' Dave Lao says:


    •' Dava Ohare says:

      Cool, well said

    •' Colin Mitchell says:

      Mass revolution , Jail the politicians

    •' Jen Ann says:

      Bingo! Number 1: Identify the true enemy!

    •' Silky Meyers says:

      Robin Mark Shepperson it sounds great but our species isn’t intellectually or morally equipped to follow such a plan. We make and own bombs, not universally respected investigators and negotiators…. 🙁 We’re like the guy who only has a hammer, so everything looks like a nail. We can no more agree with these terrorists on one thing than anti-abortion activists will ever agree with pro-abortion-rights campaigners. Peace just isn’t going to happen until one side gets stomped flat enough that they give up. Then in three generations we’ll all be eating each other’s favorite cuisine and swapping fashion like we didn’t go on a mutually wild murderous tear.

  7.' Michael Vetter says:

    Jordan Chartrand

  8.' Susan Betts says:

    I don’t see bombing one place to get isis .Since it seems they are scattered around the world.

  9.' Mary Wang says:

    Carrot combined with stick shall be applied .

  10.' Taurangi Mason says:


  11.' Russ Ridlington says:

    Every war is a profit machine. If anyone becomes sincere about ending wars they will attack and seize the funding, this is the only true war.

  12.' Jonathan Truxal says:

    it would solve alot of the problem if we fought the war like we used to before vietnam and korea.

    •' Silky Meyers says:

      You mean we decimated the enemy until he could fight no more. We flattened everything. I think we had our chance March 31, 2004 when Iraqi resurgents took contractors there to help them and hung their burned and tortured bodies on a bridge after dragging them through the streets. That was the moment to set a big example. We should have given the citizens a number of hours to come out unarmed, and then we should have turned the buildings to rubble, the rubble to dust, and the dust to microdust. Repeat as necessary with any city that displayed such tendencies. Throw a gay guy off a building? We will find you and kill you just as if we are all gay. Use children as human shields? Special forces will separate you from the children and kill you anyway. Stone a 12-year-old girl who got pregnant by an adult uncle? That’s a no. Bomb a girls’ school? Plan international terror? Move blood money into a neutral country? We will catch you! And so on. That’s the way we fought before Vietnam and Korea. War is limited only by the enemy’s ability to resist. That resistance stops, true capitulation follows, great, we can then bring in all the help we can to build you back up into civilization again. I don’t hate those people. I hate what some of them are doing, and they need to be shot like mad dogs. Not in anger, but in sorrow that we don’t have a better answer!

    •' Jonathan Truxal says:

      im pretty sure you are confusing isis tactics with conventional warfare there kiddo. you started out well though. i like the carpet bombing, decimation, etc though. for instance. yep indiscriminate destruction and death (centered around military targets. we plowed italy, germany and japan. now they are the best of friends w/us, and very affluent = learned their lesson. in contrast look at iraq, afghanistan, north korea. still enemies, still angry little 3rd worls crap holes = learned nothing. that would be war, not throwing “gays” off of roof tops. think long view. one more thing, screw helping them after we decimate them. i mean, who does that? such is the dumbest idea the us ever had.

  13.' Joseph Smother says:

    Honestly britain has to be evaporated!

  14.' Christopher Witehira says:


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