Jeremy Corbyn criticises role played by Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Syria and questions French bombing raid in Raqqa

Labour leader says Turkey's bombing of Kurdish Syrians has undermined coalition efforts to defeat Isis and hits out at Saudi Arabian-based financial support for Isis

Jeremy Corbyn has criticised Turkey and Saudi Arabia for their failure to tackle Isis in Syria and also questioned the effectiveness of France's bombing raid in Raqqa. 

The Labour leader said Turkey’s bombing of Kurdish insurgents on the Syrian border had undermined efforts by the international coalition to target Isis targets operating in the region. 

He also hit out at Saudi Arabia for allegedly supporting Isis with funds and said there were many questions over how Isis has acquired weapons and how it has been able to export oil. 

Mr Corbyn said he first wanted to see the formation of an “acceptable government” in Syria, which can then take on Isis and reiterated his view that a political solution was the best route to defeating Isis. 

“In the long run there has to be a much wider political settlement in the whole region and in the Middle East, otherwise we’re going to get more of this as time goes on," he told Sky News. 

"At the end of the day, all wars have to end by a political discussion and political solution to it."

Asked whether he supported France’s decision to drop 20 bombs on Isis targets in Raqqa, the de facto 'capital' of Isis-controlled territory in Syria on Sunday night, Mr Corbyn said: “I don’t think that that bombing is necessarily going to bring about the solution that they believe it might.

“There’s going to be civilian casualties from the bombing of Raqqa,” he added. 

“I think far more hopeful are the talks that took place in Vienna over the weekend, including Russia, the United States, European Union and of course the neighbouring countries. 

“I think the solution actually lies in creating some kind of acceptable government in Syria that can in turn then hopefully deal with the problem with Isis, or Isil.”

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told fellow world leaders at the G20 summit in Turkey that the “time for talking is over” and said there must be collective action against “terrorism”.  

However, Turkey has included the Syrian Kurdish paramilitary group the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in its bombing campaign, which has undermined coalition air strikes against Isis. 

The YPG is among the United States’ closes military ally on the ground in its fight against Isis in Syria. 

Mr Corbyn said: “I think there is some hope there, but I also think we have to ask some questions about the way in which Isil has received weapons, has received money, has been able to sell oil, has been able to export it and the role that other countries have played in this, including the way in which Turkey has been bombing Kurdish positions on the border and the way in which Saudi Arabia, maybe not at Government level, but certainly at aid-level, has been providing support to Isil.”

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