FORMER First Minister Alex Salmond speaks out about the “tragedy” of Syria in a new video diary for The National.

Salmond, a vocal critic of the Iraq War, discusses the British Government’s current position on intervention in Syria in the latest instalment of his weekly series.

The session looks back at the actions of Tony Blair and George W Bush over Iraq and raises questions about the motivations of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

In the clip, Salmond – who has a regular talk show on RT – says one of the “precious few” gains from the Iraq “nightmare” was the “establishment of a convention that parliament would be asked before military action, not afterwards”.

He says: “There was to be a new democratic normal of ‘ask questions first and shoot later’.”

However, commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to authorise strikes in Syria without parliamentary approval, he suggests MPs must now take action to uphold the importance of their role.

He says: “If the House of Commons has any sense, it will now put the prior approval convention into law.”

On the atrocities in Douma, where Assad is said to have used chemical weapons against his own people, Salmond goes on: “One other lesson lost from Iraq is the importance of letting the process of international inspection complete before military action.

“We don’t know for certain which chemical weapons were used in Douma last week and certainly not by whom.

“Assad, jihadis and Daesh have all used them in this Syrian civil war. They all have form in the grisly book of war crimes.

“The Syrian government certainly has the means but the motivation could lie elsewhere.

“Two weeks ago, Assad was winning the civil war hands down and the president of the USA was publicly declaring his intention to withdraw from the theatre.

“Now Assad’s conduct is under fresh international scrutiny and the Yanks are not just coming but they are staying.

“If the attack was the work of the Syrian government, it represents not just another outrage but an own goal of epic proportions and Assad should be placed on trial for stupidity as well as war crimes.

“In any case, the correct policy for anyone wishing to uphold rather than undermine international law is to wait for the information, take your case to a democratic parliament and to the United Nations and work for peace.

“The tragedy for the people of Syria and all of the slaughtered innocents is not of any shortage of combatants but a real dearth of peacemakers.”

For more, look out for the video diary live on The National’s website at lunchtime today.