Confusion Around Middle East Conflicts

Au début de l’été, l’Etat islamique a proclamé la création d’un califat sur l’Irak et la Syrie. Les minorités non musulmanes sont depuis persécutées et chassés de ces terres. Quelles ont été les réactions du gouvernement britannique et qu’envisage-t-il de faire pour aider ces populations et chasser les djihadistes ?

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cameron

David Cameron decided not to send ground troops to Iraq. “Britain is not going to get involved in another war in Iraq”, he said. However, England is supporting Kurdish forces against the “monstrous organisation” of the Islamist State (Isis) and will help their armament and send RAF warplanes. The Prime Minister’s main concern is to protect the civil population by sending supplies to the Yazidi refugees besieged on Mount Sinjar. “Alongside the humanitarian crisis there is also a political and extremist crisis in Iraq that has a direct effect on us back here in UK” said Cameron, who is also concerned that the creation of a caliphate could be extended to Syria, which would allow terrorist organisations to grow stronger. But for David Cameron, there is no need to recall Parliament, as long as there are no ground offensives.

But David Cameron is facing major criticism regarding his foreign policy. The shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, has accused the government of being in contradiction with itself. Downing Street first announced that the UK would provide humanitarian aid only and would arm the Kurdish forces. But Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, then said that the British warplanes were flying deep into Iraq to gather intelligence. David Cameron who declared that the UK “should use all the assets” and “put pressure on the Islamic State”, insisted on Monday that the UK would not send ground troops.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon standing beside an RAF planeDefence Secretary Michael Fallon

The second major criticism of Downing Street’s policies came from the Church of England. Bishop Nicholas Baines, backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Leeds, has written to the Prime Minister denouncing a “growing silence” over the persecutions of Christians. They accuse the Government of abandoning Christians in the Middle East and fear that any offer of asylum would serve Ukip and the anti-immigration movement. House of Lords questions on the subject remain unanswered.

The Church has also asked all Christians to show their support for the oppressed. Aid to the Church in Need has brought hundreds of demonstrators in London on July 27. For many Britons, the massacres taking place right now in Iraq do not receive enough media attention. While jihadists hunt and kill minorities in Iraq and Syria, the West does not care enough. Many protesters ask for more help to save these people. Even if most Britons do not want a new Middle East war, they do expect the British government to get involved to fight Isis and especially to control British jihadists fighting overseas. Indeed, the publication on social networks of the brutal murder of James Foley, an American journalist, by a jihadist named John, who is surely British-born, has shocked and scared many: David cameron had to come back from holiday to manage this crisis. He has also reminded reporters of all the measures taken to discourage candidates for jihad: removing passport, arrest, prosecution, suppression of propaganda on the Internet. Despite these measures, more than 500 British citizens have already left for Iraq and Syria to fight alongside Isis.

Raphaelle EZERZER, Clémentine GOMEZ & Clémence MICHEL

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