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Belfast City Council condemns Syria air strikes

By David Young

Published 17/12/2015

Belfast City Hall
Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Council voted last night to condemn the UK Parliament's decision to engage in aerial bombing raids on Isis targets inside Syria.

The motion - originally put forward by Sinn Fein and amended at last night's special council meeting by the SDLP - was passed by 30 votes to 19.

It offered support for Syrian civilians, opposed the UK government decision to undertake air strikes, and called for intensive international humanitarian efforts in Syria.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Jim McVeigh of Sinn Fein, who said: "We are not pacifists, but we are opposed to this war in Syria.

"We are implacably opposed to Daesh. The best way forward is to support those forces opposed to Daesh, not to engage in aerial bombing."

Unionist opponents accused Sinn Fein of hypocrisy, and said they should take their seats in Westminster, where foreign policy decisions are made, rather than raising the matter in Belfast City Hall.

SDLP Councillor Donal Lyons said: "We can't bring peace to Syria by building walls round it and lobbing bombs in."

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