Syria: No Armaments to Rebels


The Peace People – TRANSCEND Media Service

Press release     26th August 2013

Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire today appealed to the Rt. Hon. William Hague, British Foreign Minister, and M. Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister, to stop calling for military action against Syria which, she said, will only lead the Middle East into even more violence and bloodshed for its people.

Maguire said:

“Arming rebels and authorizing military action by US/NATO forces will not solve the problem Syria is facing but indeed could lead to the death of thousands of Syrians and to the breaking-up of the country falling under the control of violent fundamentalist jihadist forces. It will mean the further fleeing of Syrians into surrounding countries which will themselves become destabilised. The entire Middle East will then become unstable and violence will spiral out of control.

“Contrary to some foreign governments’ current policies of arming the rebels and pushing for military intervention, the people of Syria are calling out for peace and reconciliation and a political solution to the crisis, which continues to be inflamed by outside forces with thousands of foreign fighters funded and supported by outside countries for their own political ends.

“Having visited Syria in May 2013 leading a 16-member delegation, I returned convinced that the civil community, with groups such as Mussalaha, which are working on the ground building peace and reconciliation, can solve their own problems if their plea for outsiders to remain out of the conflict is honoured by the international community.

“During our visit we met with all sections of the community, most of whom are sick of violence and death and want peace and reconciliation and a political solution. We met with the Syrian Prime Minister and seven other ministers and were assured that the government did not use sarin gas on its own people, and they invited the UN to send in inspectors to see what was happening.

“Currently there is an International Commission of Inquiry on Chemical Weapons in Damascus staying at Four Seasons Hotel, which is less than ten minutes from the areas where the chemical weapons were allegedly used. The western media–particularly vocal being the British and French Foreign Ministers–are accusing President Assad of using chemical weapons on his own people but have no proof of this accusation; rather, some factors point to rebels as the ones who used such weapons.

“The question must be asked, ‘What would it benefit Assad to use sarin gas in the vicinity of visiting international UN inspectors and in his own environment and neighbourhood where his soldiers and others would be affected personally?’ I do not believe the latest accusations against the Assad government using sarin gas; in order that the world can hear the truth, I would appeal to the International Commission of Inquiry to go into the areas in question immediately and report as quickly as possible.  In the meantime I appeal to the Foreign Ministers of Britain and France to encourage, as the Syrian people wish, dialogue and negotiation as a way forward.

“We all remember the fear, panic and lies spun by the British and American governments and others that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and it were not true.   Let us learn the lesson of Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya where so many millions have been killed in invasions and war, and many continue to die in violence. Violence is not the answer. Let’s end this ‘war on terror’ and give nonviolence and peace a chance.”

Mairead Maguire
Nobel peace laureate
Peace people, 224 Lisburn road, Belfast. Bt307NW.  N. Ireland

Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See:

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 26 Aug 2013.

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7 Responses to “Syria: No Armaments to Rebels”

  1. […] The Peace People – TRANSCEND Media Service. Press release     26th August […]

  2. Linda Andersson says:

    We Americans have the unique distinction of murdering our own people with GMOs; fracking and coal mining and other means of polluting with energy sources; rescinded insurance policies when we get sick: in total, over 200,000 needless American deaths a year, thanks to the greed of our wealthy profiteers and, of course, Congress. And now we see the very same American government wanting to spend our tax money to bomb Syria to teach someone in their country not to poison their people with some sort of chemicals.

    And to put frosting on the cake, how much napalm and phosphorous and munitions did we use in Viet Nam and Laos and Cambodia and Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Who has really ruined the entire planet with their own chemicals for over 90 years? And yet we want to drop more chemicals on Syria, as if the people would prefer to be murdered by our chemicals instead of one of their own—if chemicals do indeed exist. Sorry, but I’m not able to trust McCain, Graham, and Kerry for their opinions. They are bribed by America’s and Britain’s war industry, so how could they say anything truthful?

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  5. […] Laurent Fabius, to stop calling for military action against Syria. You can read her whole statement here. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize with Betty Williams. They cofounded with Ciaran McKeown, the […]

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