Risk of ‘proxy war’ in Syria, warns UK Labour leader

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Syria needs a political solution involving Iran and neighbouring countries. (File photo: AP)

Russia and other nations could get sucked into a proxy war in Syria if there was no political solution to the crisis, British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Sunday.

Speaking on the opening day of the main opposition Labour Party’s annual conference in the seaside resort of Brighton, the newly-elected veteran socialist called for urgent action.

“Ultimately, there has to be a political solution. That’s got to involve Iran and all the neighbouring countries,” he told BBC television.

“The danger is we end up with a proxy war between Russia and others in Syria on top of an incredibly unpleasant, nasty civil war within Syria,” he said.

Corbyn said the party would set out its stance on Monday.

France said Sunday it had carried out its first air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremists in Syria, on the eve of a U.N. gathering of world leaders where the war will be at the centre of the debate.

Corbyn also said he was “not a supporter” of President Vladimir Putin, who has rankled the West by strengthening Russia’s military presence in Syria in recent weeks.

A 200/1 outsider, Corbyn was elected leader on September 12 by not only a majority of party members, but also -- by a bigger margin -- by non-members, many from the far-left.

Asked whether Trotskyists and Communists, purged from Labour in the 1980s, were now welcome to rejoin, Corbyn said: “Anyone is welcome to join the Labour Party providing they support the principles of the party.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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