MoD trained Syrian commanders at taxpayers expense

Parliamentary questions have revealed that the Ministry of Defence has trained senior members of the brutal Syrian army in the UK over the last decade and at the expense of taxpayers.

Questions by SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP revealed that:
# The MoD have actively trained members of the Syrian Army in at least 8 of the last years since 2001.
# Senior military personnel, as highly ranked as Colonel were trained in the UK.
# Training ranged from a basic commissioning course at Sandhurst to ‘Advanced Command and Staff Course’ and ‘Managing Defence in a Wider Security Context’.
# All of this training took place under the previous Labour government.
# UK taxpayers paid the £126,900 cost of the training.

Commenting, Mr Robertson said:

“It is sickening to think that senior military commanders behind the Syrian bloodshed were trained in the UK courtesy of the MoD.

“While I do not doubt the sincerity of current Ministers in their condemnation of events in Syria, there is a terrible paradox that the UK Government has played, until recently, a key role in training the Syrian military leaders.

“We used to hear a lot of talk about ethical foreign policies – until the disastrous, illegal war in Iraq – and these revelations further call into question the judgement of the previous Labour government.

“How on earth does giving military training to a dictator strengthen international security and co-operation?

“The UK Government keeps making really bad decisions on defence. With independence we can make better defence and foreign policy decisions in Scotland, and not leave it to London.”


Most recent series of Parliamentary Questions answering what training happened in UK [119601-119608]

Angus Robertson Parliamentary Question [57709] Outling nations trained by UK

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