December 2, 2015

Corbyn quoted me in Parliament today

Not bombing Raqqa isn't enough. We must take positive action.

I’m Abdelaziz Almashi – my story was quoted in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech today. I am a Syrian living in the UK but my family is still living in Isis-held territory in Syria. I, as many other Syrians do, urge all MPs to vote against David Cameron’s proposal. Airstrikes will cause the death of civilians and make ISIS stronger. But not bombing Raqqa isn’t enough. We must take positive action.

In order to defeat Isis, the UK must protect the Syrian civilians and rebels from indiscriminate aerial attacks. These are the people who are fighting the extremists on the ground.

We have driven Isis out of our towns before, but it is becoming impossible to do while we are facing the relentless bombardment of the Assad regime and Russia. The territory Isis controls is crucial to their growth, their capture of resources and their ability to conduct terrorist attacks abroad. We need help in order to keep them out of our towns.

The Syrian regime has killed 7 times more civilians than Isis this year. No, it is not as Julian Lewis says, that Assad is the lesser of two evils. Assad and Russian airstrikes have been focused on our hospitals and schools and homes, and much less so on Isis assets. As their bombardments continue, our towns are weakened. Isis comes in to fill the void, and amidst economic collapse, provides services and the promise of steady salaries, beefing up their recruitment and their hold on the land.

Make no mistake however, Syrians are resisting. Just last week in my own hometown of Manbij, women were kidnapped, an activist was tortured to death, and protesters were shot for trying to keep Isis out.

These people deserve your support – and supporting them is the only way to defeat Isis.

— Abdulaziz Almashi
Co-Founder, Syria Solidarity Movement

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