PRIME MINISTER – AIRSTRIKES ON SYRIA – 16 April 2018
Dr Julian Lewis: I welcome the calm and measured assessment of the Prime Minister, as I suspect do a considerable number of Opposition Members. She mentioned the year 2011. Bearing in mind what happened in Libya after the House retrospectively approved air action in 2011 – namely the toppling of the regime – will she give us an absolute and unequivocal guarantee that the use of airstrikes now, specifically, as she says, to degrade and to deter chemical atrocities, will absolutely not be allowed to lead to the Royal Air Force becoming, in effect, the air arm of the jihadist-led rebel forces in Syria? The two roles are and should be held to be entirely separate.
[The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right – they are separate. This was about the degrading of chemical weapons capability; it was not about regime change and it was not about an intervention in the civil war in Syria. It was about the use of chemical weapons and the prevention of future humanitarian suffering.]