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Bombing Syria without protecting civilians won’t counter extremism or reduce refugees

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 15 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6803
  1. Ayman S Jundi, consultant in emergency medicine, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; president, Syrian British Medical Society
  1. a.jundi{at}

Without a plan to protect civilians, UK military involvement may be counterproductive

While you are reading this, British Royal Air Force bombers may be carrying out air strikes against targets in Syria. Civilians may well be affected. RAF bombers started their campaign within hours of a parliamentary vote authorising the extension of air strikes to Syria. But limited strikes against so called Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) are not a sustainable long term solution, and they do not tackle the root causes of extremism or the refugee crisis.

In fact, if anything, they are likely to make these two problems even worse. The US led coalition has been bombing ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria for more than a year, with limited …

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