BEFORE the invasion of Iraq in 2003 British security services warned that the likelihood of “blowback” terrorism would increase in the UK.

Since then, Al-Qaeda has grown from an organisation that didn’t exist in Iraq to one that has branches everywhere.

The greatest legacy of the invasion of Iraq is Daesh and this Government thinks bombs are the answer.

In 2011, when David Cameron ordered British jets to carry out air strikes against the Libyan regime, he did so without without a parliamentary vote. British planes provided air cover for the rebels, a few of whom had been imprisoned in the UK as terrorists as opponents of the Libyan Government. Some of those rebels went on to join the fight against the Syrian regime and while most of them oppose IS, its greatest stronghold – after Iraq and Syria – is in Libya.

In 2013, Cameron suffered a humiliating defeat in the Commons with his proposal to bomb Syria after revelations that the regime had used chemical weapons. British MPs would not back more war.

Britain’s policy in the region since has been chequered with confusion of who to bomb and where, without properly considering consequences. Until January 2014, the UK provided non-lethal aid to the Free Syria Army (FSA) which shared resources and battle-fronts alongside most Islamic rebel groups – including Daesh.

When the latter swept across Iraq, defeating western-backed Iraqi forces, Britain started bombing again. In truth, Britain has been bombing Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War and doesn’t need an excuse to continue. It is bombing Iraq even now – as part of yet another US-led coalition. Indeed, contrary to popular belief, Royal Air Force pilots have already participated in coalition bombing campaigns in Syria against Daesh. Threat levels, as demonstrated by the Paris attacks, have only increased.

This strange alliance which sees Britain, America, France, Russia, the Gulf, Iran and banned terrorist organisations Hezbollah and the PKK on the same side has already claimed 250,000 lives – not least because of the Syrian regime’s use of barrel bombs.

Air strikes are the most indiscriminate type of modern warfare. To worsen matters on the ground, coalition bombing has struck several rebel groups including those fighting against IS while the Russians openly target all rebel groups. In turn, Turkey has shot down a Russian jet which could have led to something far worse.

In addition to the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War the worst casualties are the children. A friend of mine working in the Syrian border town of Atmeh recently detailed the case of six children from one household who were killed by a US air strike. Daesh was ousted from this town in early 2014.

He told me: “The British government planning yet another war… is [a] disaster after disaster upon innocent people. I can barely think of a single Syrian here who would think that decision is being made for their welfare.”

Hundreds of civilians have been in coalition airstrikes including at least a hundred children. The outcome of dropping more bombs will be more terror threats, more terrorism laws, more racial hatred, more refugees, more Daesh and more dead babies.

But few politicians will tell you that.

Moazzam Begg is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and is now outreach director for advocacy group Cage.

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