Politics

In 2014, Jeremy Corbyn Compared ISIS Actions To US Army

In an interview with Russia Today last year, the Labour leadership frontrunner urged a "political solution" for ISIS and likened their actions to those of US forces in 2004.

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The man who bookies expect to be named leader of the Labour party on 12 September called for a "political compromise" against the terrorist group ISIS and likened its barbaric actions to those of the US army during the Iraq war.

During an interview with Russia Today, where Jeremy Corbyn has frequently appeared, the left-wing Labour candidate said a "political solution" should be reached against ISIS rather than sending in western troops. While some thought Corbyn was calling for compromise with the terrorists, a spokesperson clarified that he wanted groups to choke off ISIS supplies.

He was speaking on the state-sponsored Russian broadcaster on 25 June, just over a fortnight after the dramatic takeover of Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, by ISIS. Since the attacks, both the UK and America have sent in troops to help the Iraqi army.

ISIS have gone on to release a series of videos in which they have beheaded journalists, charity workers and civilians. Its forces have been involved in the systematic rape of women and also involved in killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including killing 115 men, women, and children in a single car bomb attack as they celebrated the end of Ramadan.

In the interview, Corbyn likened ISIS's actions to those taken by US forces in Fallujah in 2004, when they bombarded the city.

"Yes, they are brutal. Yes, some of what they have done is quite appalling," Corbyn said. "Likewise, some of what the Americans did in Fallujah and other places is appalling."

The US admitted to using white phosphorus and other weapons in the attacks, which has caused striking increases in the infant mortality rate in Fallujah.

During the interview, Corbyn said there needed to be "an acceptance and understanding of why so many people in some of the cities in the north have apparently been prepared to accept the ISIS forces."

He said he was concerned that western forces might intervene and that a "political compromise" was preferable.

"Whilst the US has not yet sent in large numbers of troops, the danger is that in the sort of perilous civil war that is going on, western forces will once again be dragged in and the war will just go on for a long time, with awful consequences for the people of Iraq," he said.

"I think there has to be a political solution. All wars have to end in some sort of political compromise. Why not start with a political compromise now rather than fuelling the war by putting more weapons, more arms and more money into the conflict?"

A spokesperson for Corbyn's campaign said the Labour leader was not referring to compromise with ISIS, but against ISIS.

The spokesperson said: "Jeremy Corbyn believes the violent ideology of ISIS is a vicious, repugnant force that has to be stopped – where Jeremy Corbyn talks about the need for a political solution and compromise he means not with ISIS but against ISIS, working across the region and beyond to choke off supplies that help fund and arm them, and working with neighbouring states in the region to come to common solutions."

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Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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