Das britische Parlament debattiert derzeit eine Beteiligung des Landes an einem Militärschlag gegen Syrien – und die Debatte ist, wie so oft im House of Commons, feinster Parlamentarismus. Auch und gerade, wenn es um so etwas Ernstes wie Krieg oder Frieden geht. Und es scheint, die Diskussion könnte noch eine Weile dauern.
Die Position der konservativen Regierung unter Premierminister David Cameron ist klar: Auch ohne Beschluss des UN-Sicherheitsrats hält London einen Angriff auf das syrische Regime nach dem Chemiewaffeneinsatz am 21. August für gerechtfertigt. Ein wenig merkwürdig, dass gerade Großbritannien einen Vorschlag für einen Beschluss des UN-Sicherheitsrats eingebracht hat (auch wenn klar ist, dass der am Veto Russlands und Chinas scheitern dürfte).
If action in the Security Council is blocked, the UK would still be permitted underinternational law to take exceptional measures in order to alleviate the scale of the overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe in Syria by deterring and disrupting the further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
Such a legal basis is available, under the doctrine of humanitarian intervention, provided three conditions are met:
(i) there is convincing evidence, generally accepted by the international community as a whole, of extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring immediate and urgent relief;
(ii) it must be objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of force if lives are to be saved; and
(iii)the proposed use of force must be necessary and proportionate to the aim of relief of humanitarian need and must be strictly limited in time and scope to this aim (i.e. the minimum necessary to achieve that end and for no other purpose).
All three conditions would clearly be met in this case:
Zuvor hatte das britische Joint Intelligence Committee erklärt, alle vorliegenden Informationen deuteten auf einen Einsatz chemischer Waffen durch das Assad-Regime hin:
(…) We have assessed previously that the Syrian regime used lethal CW on 14 occasions from 2012. This judgement was made with the highest possible level of certainty following an exhaustive review by the Joint Intelligence Organisation of intelligence reports plus diplomatic and open sources. We think that there have been other attacks although we do not have the same degree of confidence in the evidence. A clear pattern of regime use has therefore been established.
Unlike previous attacks, the degree of open source reporting of CW use on 21 August has been considerable. As a result, there is little serious dispute that chemical attacks causing mass casualties on a larger scale than hitherto (including, we judge, at least 350 fatalities) took place.
There is no credible intelligence or other evidence to substantiate the claims or the possession of CW by the opposition. The JIC has therefore concluded that there are no plausible alternative scenarios to regime responsibility. We also have a limited but growing body of intelligence which supports the judgement that the regime was responsible for the attacks and that they were conducted to help clear the Opposition from strategic parts of Damascus. Some of this intelligence is highly sensitive but you have had access to it all.
Against that background, the JIC concluded that it is highly likely that the regime was responsible for the CW attacks on 21 August. The JIC had high confidence in all of its assessments exceptnin relation to the regime’s precise motivation for carrying out an attack of this scale at this time – though intelligence may increase our confidence in the future.
(Archivbild: Prime Minister David Cameron during the debate on the 2013 Queen’s Speech – Catherine Bebbington/Parliamentary Copyright via Flickr unter CC-BY-NC-Lizenz)