Despite the Prime Minister ruling out British troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria in parliament, the government looks set to send 2,000 British troops to Jordan, which borders both of them and is currently involved in bombing Syria.
Government sources are reported as saying these will be combat ready-troops. Such a move will take us one big step closer to another ground war in Iraq, and heighten the dangerous tensions in Jordan.
Western interventions in Iraq have caused havoc and misery. The best estimates are that half a million civilians were killed as a result of the 2003-2011 occupation. That occupation devastated and divided the country, creating the conditions that have allowed ISIS to grow there.
Chris Nineham from the Stop the War Coalition(1) said:
‘If we don’t learn the recent history we will keep repeating it, with disastrous results. The military interventions of the last few years have spread terrorism rather than containing it. We are pushing the Middle East into a downward spiral of violence. We need a complete break from this approach not another escalation.
‘Stop the War calls on the government not to break its word to parliament. The deployments, which have no democratic legitimacy, should be stopped immediately.’
1. The Stop the War Coalition was founded in 2001 to stop the military intervention in Afghanistan proposed by the United States and its allies against ‘terrorism’. In 2003 it brought together 2 million people – Britain’s largest demonstration – to oppose intervention in Iraq.