Former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has told the Commons there are six prominent failings that have resulted in the Syrian humanitarian crisis.
- At an early stage there was a plan put forward by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who proposed that Assad should be part of the solution to the crisis. But his plan was vetoed by the US and British government, something Mr Mitchell says we now understand the importance of.
- He criticised the failure by US President Obama to stand by "the red lines" he clearly asserted on the use of chemical weapons, "a disastrous decision and one from which we will suffer in the future".
- The failure to provide safe havens for five million Syrian who have been driven out of their homes, "those safe havens could have with political will, have been set up in Idlib in the north of Syria, and across from the Jordanian border in the south."
- No-fly zones, the Tory MP criticised the fact they have not been set up. "The reality is this is a country with 22 million people and nearly half of them are on the move". Mr Mitchell questioned however if "the international community has the political will to face-down the Russians and the Syrian helicopters".
- The failure to set up access for the UN, "unprecedented in recent years, that those who are bent solely on looking after their fellow citizens should be unable to have unfettered access into very dangerous zones."
- Failure of support for the surrounding countries, in particular Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey "who have acted heroically for the extraordinary number of people who have fled often under gunfire across the borders" Mr Mitchell added that Europe has failed the refugees who have "cast themselves into the modern day slave trade in the hope of reaching a safer shore."
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