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    Men hold revolutionary Syrian flags during an anti-government protest in a town in northern Syria

    UK Call for Int'l Cooperation to End Syrian Crisis Overdue

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    The United Kingdom’s invitation to work with other nations in an effort to settle the Syrian crisis is long overdue, Tarek al-Ahmad, member of a moderate Syrian opposition party, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said during the reopening of the British Embassy in Iran on Monday the country must work with Iran and Russia to end the war in Syria.

    al-Ahmad, a member of the Syrian Social National Party who had arrived in Moscow as part of a government and moderate opposition delegation, questioned the sincerity of Hammond’s calls to cooperate in seeking an end to the Syrian conflict.

    “The United Kingdom could have voiced its call at the beginning of the crisis, five years ago. It would be much easier and would require less effort to end the war,” the delegate said.

    Syria has been ravaged by a state of war since anti-government protests erupted in 2011.

    Forces loyal to the government are mounting a two-front campaign against rebels and fundamentalist groups, including the Nusra Front and Islamic State (ISIL) militants.

    Media reports revealed in July at least 20 British pilots had taken part in US-led anti-ISIL coalition airstrikes over Syria while embedded with US and Canadian forces.

    The UK Ministry of Defense stated the British pilots were “on loan” to foreign air forces and operated “as foreign troops” at the time.

    The UK House of Commons struck down Prime Minister David Cameron’s request to authorize airstrikes over IS targets in Syria in August 2013. The 272-to-285 margin in the vote reflected a rift within the majority Conservative Party on the issue.


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