This content is not available in your region

"US out of the Middle East": anti-war protests gain momentum

"US out of the Middle East": anti-war protests gain momentum
Text size Aa Aa

As the British Parliament voted against military intervention in Syria on Thursday, anti-war protesters mobilised across the globe.

Outside the White House concerned Americans called on the US to stay out of Syria:

“Syrians are crossing borders in record numbers. Why? Because they fear Americans’ bombs in Damascus,” said Brian Becker from the Answer coalition.

In New York City those opposed to war chanted “We need jobs. We need peace. US out of the Middle East.”

Greek Communists took to the streets of Athens to demonstrate outside the US Embassy.

At the Incirlik air base in Turkey, a key strategic site for US attack planes, Turks called on their government not to wage war against Syria:

“We should not allow Turkey to attack Syria just to protect US interests. It is not right for thousands of civilians to be killed in Syria just like in Iraq,” said one protester.

Turkey will be a key player in any military strikes against Assad as Incirlik is less than an hour’s flying time from the Syrian border.

More anti-war demonstrations are expected to take place across the globe over the weekend.

Who supports and opposes military intervention in Syria?

In the region


Turkey – It has been one of the most vocal critics of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since early on in the uprising.
Israel – Israeli forces have carried out three strikes on targets in Syria this year, reportedly to prevent weapons shipments reaching the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Saudi Arabia – Apparently Saudi Arabia has been one of the main suppliers of funds to the Syrian rebels.


Iraq – Although not as critical of Syria as some Arab countries, Iraq is against an intervention. Any Western military move could lead to an increase in sectarian violence in Iraq.
Iran – Officials from Iran, Syria’s chief ally, said publicly that US-led strikes on Syria would provoke retaliation on Israel.
Egypt – Egypt’s foreign minister says his country strongly opposes military action against Syria and would not support possible punitive strikes.

Around the world


USA President Obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria despite a rejection of action by its usual ally Britain and mounting concern from Congress.


United Kingdom – Parliament voted no to a proposal from Prime Minister David Cameron and his coalition government that would have authorised military action in Syria.
Russia – As one of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s biggest allies Russia is strongly opposed to any military intervention. Russia vetoed a UN resolution authorising “necessary measures” to intervene in Syria.
Germany – Is against any military action saying its international operations are already at “breaking point” and that a strike could create a “spiral of escalating violence”.
China – Is strongly against a strike and also vetoed a UN resolution authorising “necessary measures” to intervene in Syria. It says countries must wait until results of the probe are complete, it is calling for a “political resolution”.

Yet to decide

France – President Francois Hollande has urged a political solution but also said France stood ready to punish those behind the apparent gas attack.