My SNP colleagues and I fully share your deep concern for the wellbeing of the civilian population of Mosul – and above all its children – during the ongoing military offensive. The SNP have on many occasions challenged the UK Government to do a great deal more for the protection of civilians in Iraq and indeed in Syria and Yemen also.
On 18 October, during an emergency debate on the military offensive on Mosul, our MPs raised these issues with Secretary of Defence Michael Fallon in the House of Commons. Just as we have done many times in relation to Syria, Brendan O’Hara MP urged Michael Fallon to exercise his influence on the Iraq government and on other local allies and ensure that their forces do everything necessary to protect civilian lives during this offensive. In addition, Hannah Bardell MP requested that the government mobilise the instruments at its disposal for humanitarian aid, with a particular focus on providing care for those who have been most vulnerable during the Da’esh occupation of Mosul, namely children and oppressed minorities like Yazidi women.
The SNP position is that all parties to the conflicts in Middle East should end hostilities immediately and channel their energies into providing immediate and unrestricted humanitarian aid to refugees and to civilians in need, as well as to redouble diplomatic efforts at reaching fair and lasting peace deals. In the meantime, we will continue to press the UK government to exercise every means available to protect civilians and especially children in Iraq and across the Middle East.