Alex Salmond questions Assad involvement in chemical weapons attack

Mr Salmond said the Syrian government 'certainly has the means but the motivation could lie elsewhere'.
Mr Salmond said the Syrian government 'certainly has the means but the motivation could lie elsewhere'.
0
Have your say

Alex Salmond has questioned whether the Bashar al-Assad regime was responsible for the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The former First Minister said the Syrian government “certainly has the means but the motivation could lie elsewhere”.

The incident on April 7 in the formerly rebel-held city of Douma, close to Damascus, led to a series of air strikes by US, UK and French forces in the early hours of Saturday morning on bases controlled by the Assad regime.

The Syrian government and its allies, Iran and Russia, have denied using chemical weapons in Douma.

Mr Salmond, who has regularly spoken out against UK military intervention in the past, also criticised Theresa May’s decision not to seek approval of MPs before launching the attack.

Mrs May told the Commons yesterday that Saturday’s air strikes could not wait for parliamentary approval or a UN mandate.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for debate on a ‘War Measures Act’ that would limit the government’s power to go to war without the approval of parliament.

READ MORE: Syria is a power game where everyone wins, says Lesley Riddoch

“We don’t know for certain which chemical weapons were used in Douma last week and certainly not by whom,” Mr Salmond told The National in a “video diary” for the pro-independence title.

“Assad, jihadis and Daesh have all used them in this Syrian civil war. They all have form in the grisly book of war crimes.

“The Syrian government certainly has the means but the motivation could lie elsewhere. Two weeks ago, Assad was winning the civil war hands down and the president of the USA was publicly declaring his intention to withdraw from the theatre.

“Now Assad’s conduct is under fresh international scrutiny and the Yanks are not just coming but they are staying.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “This is a man who described Nato intervention in Kosovo as ‘unpardonable folly’.

“If that wasn’t enough to prove how utterly discredited he is on military matters, his increasingly cosy relationship with the Kremlin probably means he’s contractually obliged to spout such nonsense.”