Commenting on reports that UK military personnel have been involved in conducting air strikes in Syria, Scottish National Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Alex Salmond MP said:
“This action clearly flouts the democratic decision taken by the House of Commons two years ago for the UK not to take part in a bombing campaign in Syria.
“And just as inexcusable, the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon led a Commons debate on Syria only this month – before which he briefed about the likelihood of the UK bombing in Syria in the future – yet he didn’t say a word about UK military personnel already sent into action.
“The Government’s policy in this matter is entirely unacceptable – effectively overseeing a bombing campaign by stealth – and we need to know what the Defence Secretary knew, when he knew it, and when he was proposing to tell the country. He clearly didn’t do so in the debate on 2 July.
“The case for bombing in Syria has simply not been made, and the complexity of the situation is such that support for one faction is unlikely to produce a desirable outcome.
“Experience tells us that interventions can have unforeseen consequences. Past interventions and extensions of military action could at best be described as counter-productive, and at worst have helped to replenish the dark well from which terrorism springs.”
SNP Defence Spokesperson Brendan O’Hara MP said:
“The SNP are tabling an urgent question at Westminster and a series of written questions to get to the bottom of this matter. It is indefensible that the Defence Secretary has never said a word about UK involvement in bombing in Syria – keeping it hidden from parliament and people – and that it takes a Freedom of Information request for the truth to be told.
“We need answers to all the questions Mr Fallon has been hiding from, such as how long this action was planned and what the UK Government’s future intentions are.
“Above all, we need to arrive at a situation where there is no UK involvement in military strikes without the express approval of Parliament – and the SNP certainly believe that there is no case for bombing at this time.”