On August 8, 2017 a coalition of six organizations held a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to call on the U.S. to remove all military aircraft from Syrian airspace. This presentation is not to be missed for those interested in preventing a wider war in the Middle East and a possible confrontation between the United States and Russia.
Speakers at this conference argued that the U.S. military role in Syria is illegal and immoral, and addressed concerns that “global policing” and intervention in Syria is an unwinnable military strategy. The coalition behind this press conference and action includes: Roots Action, World Beyond War, Daily Kos, Veterans for Peace, The Nation magazine, and Watchdog.net. Sign their petition calling for ‘No U.S. warplanes over Syria’, here.
- Christie Edwards, Chair American Society of International Law-> Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict
- Matthew Hoh, Senior Fellow Center for International Policy
- John Kiriakou, Officer (former) Central Intelligence Agency
- Norman Solomon, Co-Founder and Coordinator Roots Action
- David Swanson, Co-Founder and Director World Beyond War
“No U.S. Warplanes Over Syria”
Norman Solomon opened the press conference with a few comments before introducing Kiriakou, et al.
The U.S. government began bombing Syria nearly three years ago. That was back in September 2014. Since then the killing from many sides has continued unabated. Meanwhile, during the last three years tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers have escalated, and escalated sharply. In the process, Russian and the United States have come closer to direct military warfare with each other.
On June 19th U.S. and Russian planes reportedly flew within five feet of each other over the Baltic Sea. Also, as this summer began, the U.S. military shot down a Syrian government jet, after which the Russian government threatened to shoot down U.S. planes over Syria.
Solomon urged the public and responsible parties address the concerns raised recently by former chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn (D-GA). The Nunn letter urged President Putin and President Trump not be distracted by other issues from “urgently pursuing practical steps now that can stop the downward spiral in relations and reduce real dangers.” Read the full letter here.
View the entire press conference below.