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Boris Johnson tells British MPs Russia controls Syrian airspace

As the Al-Qaeda led pocket of eastern Aleppo disintegrates, reports of atrocities by the Syrian army and its allies against eastern Aleppo’s civilian population – which UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday admitted are “unverified” – are now unsurprisingly being reported by the UN Human Rights Commission and by the Western media as fact.

This comes as no surprise.  The misuse of atrocity propaganda to turn the Western public against the West’s enemies has been a consistent feature of international conflicts ever since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.  The fact this propaganda after the event is repeatedly shown to be untrue – as for example was the case following the 2011 Libyan conflict – never makes any difference.

If the atrocity propaganda surrounding the fall of the Jihadi pocket in Aleppo is unsurprising, then the emergency debate in the British House of Commons today shows the Western political class at its most delusional.

Like a similar House of Commons debate of a few weeks ago it heard shrill demands especially from Labour MPs for “something to be done”, in this case for the British air force to airdrop supplies on the remaining Jihadi held districts of eastern Aleppo.

On this occasion the British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson spelled out the facts

“For air drops to be accurate they must be conducted at low level and low speed and Russia has deployed its most advanced jet fighters and surface-to-air missiles in Syria, which makes it impossible for us to carry out air drops without Russian permission.

Even if Russia were to give its consent, our aircraft would still have to fly over areas of Syria that are hotly contested by a multitude of armed groups, including Daesh and al-Qaida.

They would make every effort to shoot down a British plane and a lumbering, low-flying transport aircraft would be a sitting duck.

We came reluctantly to the conclusion that air drops over Syria under those conditions would prove too great a risk.

And when it comes to drones and other devices, we still face the problem that it is the Syrians and the Russians who control the airspace.

Of course it is possible that circumstances may change, so I will not rule out any option for delivering aid today but nor will I give false hope.

As things stand, we’d be risking the lives of our aircrew if we were to try to drop supplies into eastern Aleppo.

We are doing everything we can within the constraints that we face. I hope that Russia will see sense and join with us to secure the transition away from Assad, that is the only hope for a peaceful Syria. It’s up to them. It’s up to the Russians, it’s up to Iran. They have the future of Syria in their hands.”

(bold italics added)

That this obvious reality has to be spelt out in this painstaking way is nothing short of astonishing.

The delusional idea that Britain and its military can take on Russia by itself, and can go where even the mighty US military refuses to go, as if Britain were still a superpower, is nothing short of incredible. It is truly shocking so many British MPs and so much of the British media still cling to it.

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