Sir Peter Tapsell on Syria: ‘Palestine demonstrated ultimate folly’

LOUTH MP Sir Peter Tapsell has urged caution on any possible military intervention in Syria.

Speaking during a debate in the House of Commons on Monday, the Father of the House said he hoped the British experience of Palestine would serve as a reminder of how such intervention can fail.

He asked Foreign Secretary William Hague: “May I suggest to my right hon. Friend that if any British joint military intervention is ever contemplated into the sectarian civil war in Syria, essentially a war between Alawites and Sunnis, each with foreign backers urging them on to greater ferocity, he will reflect on the British experience in Mandated Palestine, which demonstrated that the ultimate folly for an intruder into another country is to be caught between warring and irreconcilable historic forces?”

William Hague said the Annan plan and its implementation was the focus of all efforts.

“Cautionary words about military intervention in such a complex situation are entirely well understood by the Government and the whole House,” he said.

Labour’s Jack Straw said that though Labour understood the necessary caution, the caution taken in the Bosnia had caused ‘catastrophic results’.