UK rules out military intervention in Syria

Updated: 2011-12-06 14:24


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LONDON - The most senior security policy adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron told a committee of the Houses of Parliament on Monday that it was highly unlikely that there would be any British military intervention in Syria.

Sir Peter Ricketts, who will shortly become British ambassador to France and relinquish his role as National Security Adviser, appeared to rule out military intervention in Syria led by Britain.

Ricketts compared the situation in Syria with the situation in Libya before military intervention in March by foreign powers, under a United Nations mandate, led by the United States, France and Britain.

Ricketts said that in Libya "we had urgent appeals from a wide range of the people" and that was not the case in Syria.

He added that in addition there had been a "direct invitation from the Arab League, and explicit authorization under Chapter Seven of the United Nations charter."

"None of these conditions apply in Syria, and I don't think any of them will. It is a very different case" to Libya, said Ricketts, adding that "the Syrian opposition is much more divided and diverse in its views than the Libyan one was."

Ricketts was speaking to the committee of the National Security Council, which was set up just after the coalition government came to power in May, 2010.