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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Rethink Rebuild call: Write your MP to support a no-fly-zone over Syria

The following call comes from Rethink Rebuild Society, voice of the Syrian Community of Manchester.

Given that a UK vote on Syria is anticipated to be within a month, we need everyone’s support to amplify the message that SYRIA NEEDS A NO-BOMBING ZONE! Please write to your MP by clicking on the link below and copying and pasting the following text into the relevant area. Then kindly share with all your contacts on social media!

Re: In support of no-bombing zone over Syria

Dear MP,

As your constituent, I would like to ask you to attend the Parliamentary launch of the report “Syria Between Dictatorship and ISIS: What can the United Kingdom Do?” produced by Rethink Rebuild Society, a Manchester-based Syrian advocacy and community organisation.

The report has been endorsed by Syrian groups across the county and is presented as a comprehensive plan of action for the UK to help end the conflict in Syria. It frames the current debate with views on potential UK air strikes in Syria, how to deal with ISIS and Assad as well as the UK refugee policy.

The details of the event are:

Date: Monday 27th October 2015


Venue: Committee Room 9, House of Commons
Time: 12pm to 2pm

Panel speakers:
Jeff Smith MP: Chair

Yasmine Nahlawi: Advocacy & Policy Coordinator, Rethink Rebuild Society

Farah Al: former detainee in Assad’s prison and UK citizen

Yasser Al Jassem: Syrian refugee

Please RSVP to Yasmine Nahlawi at advocacy@rrsoc.org

Please contact Amina Lone at Jeff.Smith.mp@parliament.uk should you have any questions.

In addition to the above, I would also like to ask you to raise a number of critical points on Syria to both the FCO and DFID, in particular to press:

1. The Syrian crisis is the root of two of the most serious global problems right now: the refugee crisis; and the threat posed by ISIS;

2. Anti-ISIS strikes will not tackle the root causes: (a) ISIS is neither the root cause of the Syrian crisis, nor is it the predominant driver of refugee flows; (b) the impact of any UK contribution will be marginal at best; and (c) anti-ISIS strikes in the absence of protection have been a radicalising factor on the ground so—ironically—UK strikes against ISIS might just make things worse;

3. Alleviating those global problems requires tackling them at source. So we need a policy that (a) stems the killing in Syria—the majority of which is a result of the Assad regime’s aerial bombardment; (b) reduces the humanitarian impact, including slowing the exodus; (c) combats extremism; and (d) leads to a political solution;

4. A no-bombing zone is the first step to turning the crisis around. It is the only policy option that (a) saves lives; (b) reduces the exodus; (c) reduces radicalisation; and (d) makes a political solution more likely;

5. By ensuring civilian protection and stopping the aerial bombardments—including those by Russia—the UK would stop the largest source of killing in Syria, namely the Assad regime’s air force. 60% of civilian deaths are caused by the regime's helicopters and planes. In 2015 alone, the regime killed seven times more civilians than ISIS;

6. Implementation of a no-bombing zone would not require pre-emptively striking inside Syria which would risk the lives of British military personnel. Rather, it could be enforced from ships in the Mediterranean which would only execute strictly limited strikes if aircraft violate the prohibited ban on bombing. This sea-based option requires very limited military intervention.

Thank you very much for your time.
Best regards,

Write to your MP using www.writetothem.com

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