StWC Statement on Mosul - 17/10/16
More aerial bombardment of civilians will not help to bring about peace and stability in Iraq
The misery of the people of the Middle East continues. We have condemned the bombing of Aleppo by Russia and that of Yemen by Saudi Arabia. Now there is the battle over Mosul in which both US and UK planes will be used for air strikes. While no one can support the brutal behaviour of ISIS, and all would welcome its disappearance, more aerial bombardment of civilians will not help to bring about peace and stability in Iraq. Indeed, the offensive on Mosul which began today is in danger of creating a grave humanitarian crisis as hundreds of thousands try to flee the city.
The situation in Iraq and the wider Middle East today cannot be understood without looking at the background of US and UK intervention there, especially the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. It was in the chaos and misery of occupied Iraq that ISIS was first formed. That intervention has cost the lives of countless Iraqis, led to the displacement of millions, created much greater levels of terrorism and has contributed to instability across the region.
The US and UK governments do not have the interests of the people at heart, but are concerned with their own strategic interests and control of the resources in the region, in the case of Mosul oil. Stop the War opposes all the outside interventions by foreign powers and all the bombing being carried out from whatever source on the people of the Middle East. We also reject the hypocrisy of our government which criticises Russian bombing of civilians in Aleppo, while logistically supporting Saudi bombing of Yemen.
Repeated interventions have created an endless series of wars, making it the most militarised part of the world. ISIS must be defeated but only the people of the Middle East can bring this about.