Syria regime

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When discussing the rights and wrongs of British military involvement in Syria it is vitally important to highlight doubts, as Bob Taylor does (Letters, 10 September), over regime responsibility for the Ghouta chemical atrocity in August 2013.

After all, Assad had never previously given any outward sign of being possessed of a death wish so determined that he would actually time his use of chemical weapons to coincide with the arrival in Damascus, a few days earlier, of a UN-mandated fact-finding mission tasked with investigating the use of these very weapons.

As part of the political leadership of a country, if you wanted to carry out a chemical attack on your own civilian population, these would not appear to be the first people to invite beforehand.

Meanwhile, on Monday, when it was put to him by the chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee Dr Julian Lewis, that the government’s “fixation” with removing Assad is a “bar” to resolving Syria’s crisis, in an irony heavy enough to becalm an aircraft carrier, David Cameron replied that changing the government’s position in this regard would be a “great mistake”.

On the contrary, the “great mistake” was precisely to embark on a reckless policy of “covert regime change” in the first place, for which, while it may be an unpalatable proposition, the Prime Minister arguably has as much if not more Syrian blood on his hands than Assad himself.

James Bruce

Church Street

Berwick-upon-Tweed