British military veterans have discarded their service medals at the Prime Minister’s street in London in protest at the government’s decision to extend its so-called war on terror to Syria.
A group of former soldiers, who had served in the Persian Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, made the symbolic gesture outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday to express their “utter disgust” at “unlawful” bombing of the Middle Eastern country by the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Guardian reported.
“In protest at the decision to bomb Syria, we will hand back medals given to us for participating in previous attacks on the Middle East,” said Daniel Lenham, one of the veterans who served in the RAF from 2002 to 2014.
“These invasions, occupations and attacks have caused great destruction, killed hundreds of thousands of people and have led to the destruction of societies. Bombing is never a solution. It is time to stop,” he added.
The former servicemen, belonging to the Veterans for Peace UK group, threw away their medals to the ground in the presence of waiting media and supporters after making brief remarks about the reason of their move.
“By bombing in Syria we are killing innocent, vulnerable sentient beings, men, woman and children. You cannot sow bloodshed and reap peace. I no longer want these medals,” said Kirk Sollitt, who served in the Persian Gulf War.
The group, a voluntary ex-service organization, says it exists to convince the people that war is not the solution to the problems of the 21th century.
On December 2, British MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of launching airstrikes against purported Daesh targets in the war-torn Syria.
The Syrian conflict, which started over four years ago, has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the UN. The Syrian government blames the foreign-backed militancy in the country on some states, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia.