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Andrew Mitchell Russia Syria

British forces may join coalition

11 Oct, 2016

Conservative MP Mitchell, who will lead an emergency Commons debate on the situation in Syria, says British forces may join an international coalition that will defend Aleppo against alleged war crimes by Russian air strikes.

What we are saying is very clear. No one wants to see a firefight with Russia, no one wants to shoot down a Russian plane. But what we do say is that the international community has an avowed responsibility to protect and that protection must be exerted. If that means confronting Russian airpower defensively, on behalf of the innocent people on the ground who we are trying to protect, then we should do that…It’s not a declaration of war against Russia but it is an absolute declaration that we will seek to protect the innocent victims of these war crimes. I think that Britain should explore with its allies how it would enforce a no-fly zone. It is clearly not something we can do on our own but as part of a coalition of the willing to confront this appalling catastrophe we should certainly be willing to explore that and implement it if we are able to do so.