Bombing Syria – damned if we do and damned if we don’t

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The case for bombing Syria is getting ever stronger, with revelations that IS forces are using mustard gas to terrorise their enemies in that country and in Iraq.

But with the shadow of the ever-delayed Chilcot Inquiry still hanging like the sword of Damocles above the heads of various past decision-makers, it’s hard not to be sceptical and wonder if these new developments aren’t just a little bit too well-timed.

Let’s not forget too that the chemical weapon charge was used by the coalition government as a reason to bomb Syria in 2013 when its government forces used Sarin gas on the population and killed 1,400 people.

The vote to target Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s forces was narrowly defeated in the Commons, to much fist-clenching and jaw-squaring from David Cameron and Barak Obama, and as al-Assad apparently got rid of all the gas the US air strikes never happened.

Two years later however, there is not only mounting evidence that the gas is back and being used by the government, but it’s also emerging that Islamic State is cooking it up and using it on the population.

Since both the al-Assad regime and IS represent oppressive and torture-ridden regimes Britain cannot and will not tolerate, I don’t think it’ll be too long before the vote is back in parliament to authorise drone strikes in both Syria and Iraq.

The only inevitable thing however, will be that innocent people will die; that the migrant crisis — the humanitarian crisis that is the refugees fleeing from Syria, Eritrea and the like — will only worsen.

Those people will be forced into more boats to die, will be struggling to survive in the camps along the border, or will be forced by other fair means or foul to try to reach safety.

So what do we do?

Do we stand by and watch people die through the use of weapons that have been illegal for almost 100 years, or contribute to it by bombing specific targets and hope no-one else gets in the way?

It seems inevitable that Britain is heading back to war, but have we ever really stopped fighting?