The Greens have welcomed the surprise suggestion by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that the US and Russia consider military withdrawal from the Syrian conflict.
“This is an important recognition that the path to peace in Syria lies through military draw-down rather than persisting with endless escalation,” Greens defence spokesman Senator Ludlam said.
“In making this suggestion, presumably in an attempt to help break the appalling deadlock that saw last week’s ceasefire collapse, the Australian Government could at last make a positive contribution to this horrific civil war.
“Between the accidental allied mass-killings of Syrian troops and the accusations of war-crimes through indiscriminate Russian bombing, foreign military intervention in the region has been proven again to be violently counterproductive.
“The most obvious first step would be for the Royal Australian Air Force to cease operations in Syria, at the same time as a determined increase in humanitarian support for people fleeing the conflict and those trapped inside.”
“Australian forces are only adding to the chaos - beyond that, the call for the removal of the major powers using the conflict as a proxy war for Middle East dominance is long overdue," Senator Ludlam concluded.